ACLU: FBI practicing racial profiling on an "industrial scale"

The ACLU has sent a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder documenting its disturbing research into the use of racial profiling in the FBI's anti-terrorism efforts. According to the ACLU, the FBI practices "racial profiling on an industrial scale," targetting people of Muslim faith on the basis of their religion rather than any violent tendencies or beliefs.

Meanwhile, the ACLU has filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests – some backed up with lawsuits – to find out how the FBI is using racial and ethnic data as part of its investigations.

"The documents we have started to receive confirm our worst fears," ACLU officials wrote to Attorney General Holder. "Although often heavily redacted, these documents, obtained from a number of different field offices, demonstrate that FBI analysts are using improper and crude racial stereotypes regarding the types of crimes committed by different racial and ethnic groups and then collecting demographic data to map where people of those racial or ethnic groups live."

The result, charges the ACLU, has been "racial profiling on an industrial scale."