The first round of investigations, started immediately after September 11, 2001, and termed the Pentagon Twin Tower Bombing Investigation (PENTTBOM), led to approximately 1,200 citizens and noncitizens being detained for interrogations within the first two months of the attacks and subsequently released. According to a review conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), it was clear from the beginning that most of these detainees had no connection to terrorism at all and their detention could only be explained by their religion, ethnicity, and nation of origin. The DOJ report found that law enforcement agencies selectively followed up on dubious tips for persons of Arab or Muslim extraction and accepted the arbitrary nature of arrests and designation as “special interest” by the FBI
Author: Sangay K. Mishra
Sangay Mishra is the author of Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Mishra is an assistant professor of political science at Drew University.