"The top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee is asking a federal privacy watchdog to look into mysterious FBI committees designed to prevent people from turning into radical extremists.
"The groups — which are meant to be a voluntary collaborations between law enforcement and community leaders — appear to exist without clear limitations and could violate people’s privacy, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) worries.
"'Little information is known about the protections, if any, allotted for the voluntary intervention leaders,' Thompson told the head of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board in a letter on Friday.
"'Referrals to the committee do not end or preclude FBI from conducting concurrent criminal investigations,' he added. 'Moreover, intervention leaders are not protected from becoming a part of ongoing investigations and future criminal and judicial proceedings.'
"Thompson asked David Medine, the head of the privacy watchdog, to investigate whether the committees are conducted within the bounds of the law and if any privacy or civil liberties are violated.
"Little is known about how the 'Shared Responsibility Committees' operate, but they have raised alarm among some rights groups for what critics believe is unfair targeting of Muslims. The committees are designed to bring together law enforcement officers, religious leaders, mental health experts and others to pinpoint vulnerable people before they turn violent."
To read the rest of Hattem's article, click HERE.