Jeff Roberson/AP

Homeland Security Watchdog to Probe TSA Racial Profiling

Supervisor alleged to have singled out Somalis in Minnesota for scrutiny.

The inspector general for the Homeland Security Department has opened an investigation of alleged racial profiling of Somalis at the Transportation Security Administration.

The watchdog on Thursday announced that a TSA employee had complained via a hotline that “his supervisor advised him to treat members of the Somali community differently from others who visit the Minneapolis TSA office.”

A large population of immigrants from Somalia have settled in the Minneapolis area, and that weakly governed East African nation continues to be a battleground for terrorists.

TSA has long sought to avoid unconstitutional racial stereotyping while screening airline passengers using confidential criteria. Last year, a checklist detailing some of the criteria was leaked to a media outlet.

The IG plans an investigation and, if warranted, a public report.