Since 9/11, US governmental agencies have poured millions of dollars into spying on Arabs, Muslims and Arab Americans. Their surveillance has changed countless lives as ordinary citizens all over the country were interrogated, arrested or had their homes raided.
But this didn’t start in 2001.
Invasive - and even illegal - surveillance programmes against Arabs and Arab Americans have a long history in the US, going all the way back to the 1970s, with a program code-named Operation Boulder. But it wasn't until a lawyer named Abdeen Jabara took his own government to court that the true size and scale of the programme was revealed.
This episode was produced by Suzanne Gaber and Will Thomson, and edited by Dana Ballout and Alex Atack. Fact checking by Deena Sabry. Additional support from Nadeen Shaker and Zeina Dowidar. Sound design and mixing by Paul Alouf.
Thank you to Afnan, Amaney Jamal, Abdeen Jabara, Anan Ameri, John Shattuck, and Nicole Nguyen for speaking with us for this episode, and to the Bentley Historical Library for the use of their archives.
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Read this episode’s transcript here.
Through smugglers, barbed wire fences and forests, Aizen arrives in Europe. But the sense of relief he feels at making it this far is short-lived: the physical and mental toll of travelling so far from home begins to weigh heavy.
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