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USA

Muslim NJ mayor detained at JFK airport: 'Did you meet with terrorists?'

The mayor of Prospect Park, N.J., said that he was profiled at an airport and questioned due to being Muslim by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.

Mohamed Khairullah told NorthJersey.com that he was held for hours at JFK International Airport in New York and questioned about his travels overseas and specifically whether he visited any "terrorist cells" or met with any "terrorists."

“It’s flat-out insulting,” Khairullah said. “It’s flat-out stereotyping of Muslims and Arabs.”

“It was definitely a hurtful moment where I’m thinking in my mind that this is not the America that I know,” he continued. “I am very familiar with our laws and Constitution, and everything that was going on there was a violation.”

CBP officials did not immediately return The Hill's request for comment on the story.

Khairullah told NorthJersey.com that agents told him that his questioning was part of a random stop and also included questions about his past history such as his college studies and his mother's name.

His phone was also taken by agents who later returned it after intervention from an attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a major advocacy group.

CAIR's litigation director Ahmed Mohamed slammed CBP in a statement to NorthJersey.com, accusing the agency of ignoring the need for "reasonable suspicion" to conduct searches.

“CBP believes they can do what they want at the border, but even their own policies say there needs to be reasonable suspicion to do an intrusive search of the phone,” he said.

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