American-Islamic Group Demands FBI Stop Distributing No Fly List

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on the FBI to stop distributing its No Fly List after the data was found exposed on an airline’s server, calling it a “vast Muslim registry deployed against Muslims.”

As first reported by the Daily Dot on Thursday, Swiss hacker maia arson crimew discovered that a server run by the U.S. regional airline CommuteAir was left unsecured online. Further analysis of the server uncovered not only a 2019 version of the No Fly List, a database of individuals accused of having known or suspected ties to terrorism, but a Selectee list comprised of people who can be flagged for enhanced screening.

In a press release on Tuesday, CAIR, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, emph asized that the data is made up of almost entirely “Arabic and Muslim names.”

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“Even a cursory review of the lists show they are both almost entirely lists of Arabic and Muslim names,” said CAIR Trial Attorney Justin Sadowsky. “Children who were at most 10 years old at the time are on the No-Fly List. A then 7-year-old is on the Selectee list.”

During examination of the list, the Daily Dot likewise noted a heavy preponderance of Arabic names alongside prominent figures such as the recently freed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Such secretive lists, according to CAIR, are disseminated by the FBI “to tens of thousands of law enforcement agencies, hundreds of private companies, and more than 60 foreign governments.”

“These leaks confirm that, in response to 9/11, the FBI decided to build a Muslim registry,” CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas added. “If the FBI is allowed to keep its Muslim registry, it is only a matter of time before the FBI aims its secret lists at others.”

The exposure of the lists also led Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) to state on Twitter that Congress would “be coming for answers” over why the data was left vulnerable online and how people can be placed on the list without due process.

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*First Published: Jan 24, 2023, 2:11 pm CST

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Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.

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