According to DHS authorities, one officer was being investigated because he had asked for an individual’s view of Anwar al-Awlaki. In another, FBI agents referenced the underwear bombing plot. Even that much was considered offensive.

The CRCL investigation was motivated by pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, CAIR, and Muslim Advocates, a group closely linked with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups and with a long history of opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

In response to lawsuits related to the issue of questioning by CBP officers, the DHS established a “hands-off” list of known individuals with terror ties, which included Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas finance trial. These individuals were given a green light to enter the country, and were not to be referred to secondary questioning. Sen. Chuck Grassley investigated the matter in 2014, calling it “disturbing.”