- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general has opened an investigation into allegations of racial profiling at the Transportation Security Administration’s Minneapolis office.

The investigation will probe allegations made by an assistant federal security director for the TSA, who said he was told by a supervisor to provide the names of Somali-American community members who visited their Minneapolis-area office so the names could be checked against national security databases for terrorist ties.

Andrew Rhoades said he was given the instruction as part of a performance review and that it related to a meeting he had previously with a Somali imam who had come to his office to seek a remedy for a Muslim man who was not being allowed to board flights at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The April 8 written performance review provided by Mr. Rhoades notes the meeting with the imam and goes on to state that “with our current world affairs that we need to be mindful of those we interact with” and suggested that a security check on potential visitors would allow officials “to determine if we want them in our office space or meet elsewhere.”

Mr. Rhoadestestified last week before Congress about the instructions he was given in the performance review, adding that at another point he was asked by a supervisor if he was “going native” after having attended a community meeting an area mosque.

Mr. Rhoades, who regularly works with the Somali community in the St. Paul region, balked at the request and sought to inform senior TSA leadership about the incidents.

“I have no indication that this is wide spread,” Mr. Rhoades said, adding that he met with OIG investigators Thursday to discuss the incident.

The Office of the Inspector General intends to “publish a public report, as appropriate” on the findings of the investigation, according to a statement by the agency.

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