Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder will reportedly ban religious profiling as one of his final actions before leaving office, limiting federal agents access to mosques and providing no national security exemption.
In this Sept. 4, 2014 file photo, Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. A White House official says Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Holder announced last week he was stepping down after serving in the position for six years, but that he would remain until his replacement has been nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate.
The Justice Department did not respond to inquiries from TheBlaze seeking to confirm the broad policy change first reported by the Los Angeles Times, which said the change would be announced in two or three weeks.
The Times story said, “The long-awaited policy will not include an exemption for national security investigations, sources said. National security officials and others in the administration concerned about terrorism lobbied hard for such an exemption, according to congressional sources.”
The policy comes amid increased concern that the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria is recruiting westerners through social media and other means. The issue of radical ties in American mosques also gained attention this week after news reports that the man accused of beheading a former co-worker in Oklahoma went to a mosque owned by the same group that owned the Massachusetts mosque where the alleged Boston Marathon bombers attended.
After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration gave greater latitude to the FBI to conduct undercover investigations of specific religious groups.
The new policy will prohibit conducting undercover operations of a mosque or possibly other specific religious institutions without prior evidence of criminal activity. The policy will also cover ethnicity and sexual orientation.
On the day of Holder's announcement last week, the Council on American Islamic Relations issued a statement saying Holder should have done more to prevent profiling.
“Under Mr. Holder's administration, the DOJ forcefully confronted discrimination of Muslim employees in the workplace, challenged neglect or bullying of children in schools, upheld the right of communities to build mosques and cemeteries, and prosecuted perpetrators of hate crimes and acts of vandalism,” the CAIR statement said.
“Unfortunately, the DOJ under Mr. Holder's watch did very little to address frequent reports of FBI harassment of Muslim communities, profiling, intimidation, warrantless surveillance, use of ex-convicts as community spies, informant driven plots of entrapment, coercion to speak without legal representation, purposeful misapplication of terrorist watch lists—including the extrajudicial exile of American citizens traveling abroad—inappropriate religious questioning at the U.S. border and ports of entry, acts of wrongful detention, and lethal use of force,” the statement added.
(H/T: Investor's Business Daily)