How Banks Flag Ordinary Customers As Terrorists

The Washington Post has an article, “Ordinary Customers Flagged as Terrorists,” describing how the Office of Foreign Asset Control maintains a list of potential terrorist suspects, and how everyday citizens can wind up on it.

For instance, one Tom Hassan Kubbany of Detroit got flagged as a potential terrorist because “Hassan” is an alias for “Ali Saddam Hussein,” one of Saddam Hussein’s alleged sons. Because of the flag, Tom found a lot of lenders shutting their doors in his face when applying for a home loan.

Back in January, we actually wrote a post on how the OFAC lists work. Check it out: How Banks Freeze Terrorist Founds With A Free, Public, .TXT


Ordinary Customers Flagged as Terrorists [Washington Post via BoingBoing]
(Illustration: Chym

‘s Fake-Concept)


Edit Your Comment

  1. AcilletaM says:

    I just figured these banks had an “I’m not a terrorist” fee that wasn’t generating enough income.

  2. mikesfree says:

    Why is the consumerist on this list? Only kidding.

  3. mac-phisto says:

    ok, let’s be fair here. it’s the government that’s doing the flagging & the feds requiring banks to adhere to the list or face fines. the banks are just marching to the beat of the drum.

  4. Buran says:

    @mac-phisto: Fair? Hardly. People are producing proof that they’re not who the banks are assuming they are and STILL getting treated badly. The banks don’t get a free ride.

    I’m amazed the title of the article used the word “customer” instead of “consumer”. Amazing. Respect.

  5. Xkeeper says:

    So I’m not the only one who is severely disappointed in the overuse of “Consumer” and not “customer”.

    To me, we are consumers of items (e.g., electricity or corn flakes). We are customers when we take our business to a company and buy their particular product (e.g., using LocalPower’s electricity services or Kellog’s corn flakes).

    But hey, it’s just my soapbox.

  6. Anonymously says:

    I’d like to see the Consumerist cover more the supposedly secret government laws that bank employees are supposed to follow.

  7. Youthier says:

    I can’t believe someone even needs a loan to buy a house in Detroit. The average price is cheaper than a car.

  8. mac-phisto says:

    @Buran: easy for you to say. you’re not facing jail time for non-compliance. they may be a little overcautious, but that’s only b/c the gov’t is leaning hard on this. c’mon, have you ever known a bank to not want to take someone’s money.

    trust me, this rabbit hole’s pretty deep & i’d say more but i’m not allowed (& that’s not a joke).

    see what happens when you sacrifice a little freedom for a little security?

  9. IC18 says:

    @missbrook06, I agree Detroit houses are pretty cheap, however areas in the suburb and neighboring cities still cost a good chunk of change. I had a job offer near Detroit once and I looked at the houses outside the Detroit zone and they seemed pretty up there, especially Ann Arbor.

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