TSA whistleblower claims orders were to profile Somali imams

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Minnesota is residence to one in three Somalis within the US, in accordance to MPR News, and Somali leaders within the Twin Cities declare that members of their group are topic to larger scrutiny and harassment from TSA brokers.

In an effort to deal with these considerations, Andrew Rhoades, an assistant federal safety director for the TSA, met with Somali imams and others within the native Somali group. Rhoades’s good intentions, nonetheless, were being undermined by his superiors.

Testifying at Wednesday’s House oversight committee listening to, Rhoades mentioned his supervisors had ulterior motives for the conferences.

“Recently I was asked to profile Somali imams and community members visiting my office,” Rhoades said, adding, “I cannot do that,” City Pages reported.

Rhoades informed legislators that his TSA supervisors needed to display Somali-Americans via databases to examine for terrorist ties, the Star Tribune reported. The drawback with this, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, is that Somalis can be screened for terrorist connections “by the same office designed to address their complaints.”

Rhoades went on to describe a poisonous work local weather fostered by the TSA, a “tradition of misconduct, retaliation, lack of belief, cover-ups, and the refusal to maintain its senior leaders accountable for poor judgment and malfeasance.”

His testimony described a “punitive” system of punishing workers via transfers and demotions. In one case, Rhoades claims {that a} feminine staffer was transferred after submitting a sexual harassment criticism in opposition to a co-worker. When a male worker refused to cowl up the harassment, he was allegedly demoted by two positions.

Rhoades himself was reassigned after being suspected of leaking data to a information station. He additionally claims that after assembly an imam at a mosque, a supervisor accused him of “going native.”

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