The American-Islamic group is calling on the FBI to stop distributing no-fly lists

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is asking the FBI to stop disseminating its no-fly list after the data was disclosed on an airline’s server, calling it a “huge Muslim registry used against Muslims.”

As the Daily Dot first reported on Thursday, Swiss hacker Maia Arson Crimew discovered that a server of the US regional airline CommuteAir was online unsecured. Further analysis of the server uncovered not only a version of the 2019 No Fly List, a database of people accused of having or suspected links to terrorism, but also a selectee list of people eligible for expanded screening can be marked.

In a Tuesday press release, CAIR, the country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, stressed that the data consisted almost entirely of “Arabic and Muslim names.”

“Even a cursory examination of the lists shows that both are almost exclusively lists of Arabic and Muslim names,” said CAIR trial attorney Justin Sadowsky. “The no-fly list includes children who were no more than 10 years old at the time. A then 7-year-old is on the selectee list.”

In examining the list, the Daily Dot also found a strong preponderance of Arab names, alongside prominent figures such as recently freed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

According to CAIR, such secret lists 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 the FBI decided to establish a Muslim registry in response to 9/11,” added Gadeir Abbas, CAIR’s Senior Litigation Attorney. “If the FBI is allowed to keep its Muslim registry, it’s only a matter of time before the FBI directs its classified lists to others.”

The disclosure of the lists also prompted Rep. Dan Bishop (RN.C.) to tweet that Congress was “getting answers” about why the data is vulnerable online and how people can be listed without due process .


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*Initial publication: January 24, 2023 2:11 pm CST

Michael Thalen

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

Michael Thalen The American-Islamic group is calling on the FBI to stop distributing no-fly lists

Jaclyn Diaz

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