Spencer Ackerman reports on WIRED’s Danger Room:
It started out as a crimefighting tool. But over the years, an FBI effort known as “geo-mapping” evolved into something more expansive — a method to track Muslim communities, without any suspicion of a crime being committed.
Last month, Danger Room revealed that the FBI was training its agents that religious Muslims tended to be “violent” and that Islamic charity is merely a “funding mechanism for combat.” In response, both the FBI and the Justice Department promised full reviews of their training materials. But the geo-mapping effort indicates that the FBI may have more than just a training problem: The suspicion of ordinary Muslims promoted in those lectures may be spilling over into its counterterrorism tactics.
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union acquired some of the FBI geo-maps (.pdf), like the one pictured after the jump, through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Although many of the maps are heavily redacted, they represent the first public confirmation that the FBI compiles maps of businesses, community centers and religious institutions in ethnic enclaves around the United States…
More: WIRED’s Danger Room