Radically Wrong: A Counterproductive Approach to Counterterrorism

Counterterrorism policies based on flawed models of so-called terrorist radicalization are ineffective and undermine constitutional rights. Despite substantial empirical evidence to the contrary, the government continues to embrace a theory that argues that adopting radical ideas is a first step toward terrorist violence. Based on this discredited model, intelligence and law enforcement agencies are increasingly implementing flawed and wasteful “preventive” policies that result in discrimination, suspicionless surveillance of entire communities, and selective law enforcement against belief communities and political activists.

Will White House Violent Extremism Summit Address Pressing Civil Rights Concerns?

Will White House Violent Extremism Summit Address Pressing Civil Rights Concerns?

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 4:51pm
Should the federal government task teachers, religious leaders, and mental health professionals with rating and reporting to law enforcement about the strength of a family's parent-child bond? A child's involvement in religious activities or his connection to a group identity? Whether there are "ideologues" within an American community or what its level of "cohesiveness" is? These and other deeply invasive and problematic questions are being considered as part of the government's strategy for "countering violent extremism." That strategy has been targeted at Muslims, at home and abroad.
The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap: Why the Cure Will Be Worse Than the Disease

The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap: Why the Cure Will Be Worse Than the Disease

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:24am

This piece originally appeared at TomDispatch.

The shadow of a new threat seems to be darkening the national security landscape: the lone-wolf terrorist.

"The lone wolf is the new nightmare," wrote Washington Post columnist Charles…

Terrorist or...Teenager?

Terrorist or...Teenager?

By Naureen Shah, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 1:58pm

This piece originally ran on Slate.com on November 12, 2014.

Growing up in Texas as a Muslim, I often felt different and apart. But I also felt the same. My parents and their friends hosted Super Bowl parties. Every Fourth of July, we picnicked…

Countering Violent Extremism: Time for the Administration to Get It Right

Countering Violent Extremism: Time for the Administration to Get It Right

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:07pm

Today President Obama took the unusual step of chairing a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. He went seeking international support for the campaign against the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including a U.S.-sponsored…

#DearMrPresident: Stop Profiling Us

The Perversity of Profiling

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 2:19pm

The Justice Department is considering revised racial profiling guidance that, if issued, could set back race relations and basic fairness in this country. We hope that it does not make that mistake.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that…

The FBI’s Trojan Horse?

The FBI’s Trojan Horse?

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 3:21pm

Over the past few decades, a paradigm shift has occurred within policing. Known generally as community policing, the basic idea is that state and local law enforcement officers should integrate themselves into the communities they serve.

The…

Does Intelligence Have to be so Unintelligent?

Does Intelligence Have to be so Unintelligent?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:27pm

You would think that with an annual budget topping $70 billion, the intelligence community would employ the most rigorous scientific research methods and conduct exacting empirical studies to support its assumptions and evaluate the effectiveness of…

Radically Wrong: The Right to Think Dangerous Thoughts

Radically Wrong: The Right to Think Dangerous Thoughts

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:14am

Despite evidence to the contrary, the government continues to embrace a theory that adopting radical ideas is a first step toward terrorist violence. Based on this discredited model, "preventive" policies are being pursued, resulting in discrimination, suspicionless surveillance of entire communities, and selective law enforcement against belief communities and political activists.

Radically Wrong: Misstated Threats - Terrorism isn’t an American-Muslim Problem

Radically Wrong: Misstated Threats - Terrorism isn’t an American-Muslim Problem

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:50pm

Despite evidence to the contrary, the government continues to embrace a theory that adopting radical ideas is a first step toward terrorist violence. Based on this discredited model, "preventive" policies are being pursued, resulting in discrimination,…

Radically Wrong: A Counterproductive Approach to Counterterrorism

Radically Wrong: A Counterproductive Approach to Counterterrorism

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:52am

Governments often interpret radical ideas that challenge the existing social and political orthodoxy as threatening...

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