The Justice Department is expected to issue a broad new policy in the coming two to three weeks banning religious and other forms of profiling by federal law enforcement officers, department sources said Friday, reports the L.A. Times.
The long-awaited policy will not include an exemption for national security investigations, sources said. National security officials and others in the administration concerned about terrorism lobbied hard for such an exemption, according to congressional sources.
The new policy will cover ethnicity and sexual orientation as well as religion. Advocates of the new policy said they were surprised because the debate over the national security exemption had blocked movement for months.
The new policy, though still being finalized, is expected to prohibit federal agents from conducting undercover surveillance of a mosque, for example, without some information that criminal activity is underway. Under the current rules, approved in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, law enforcement agencies were given broad latitude to monitor specific religious groups.
The policy will probably not extend to local law enforcement, as advocated by Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.).