Mistrust Hinders FBI and CIA Recruitment of Arab-Americans

May 14, 2003

Source: Newhouse News Service


On May 14, 2003 Newhouse News Service reported that "the FBI is intensely recruiting Arab-Americans and Arabic speakers to demonstrate the bureau's commitment to diversity and to help target surveillance on terrorist activities without spying on innocent citizens... The CIA, which also has been looking for linguists and other Arab-American professionals, has launched its own outreach effort. But despite what leaders of Arab-American and Muslim communities describe as a sincere effort on the recruiters' part, suspicion and mistrust linger... Some Arab-Americans cite a pattern of what they believe is unfair surveillance and harassment of Muslims and Arab-Americans dating from before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Since the 2001 attacks, they say, the FBI's enhanced monitoring powers under the USA Patriot Act have only inflamed fears."