Muhammed Ali Khan tried to do one of the most boring, responsible things an American taxpayer can do: set up a government-guaranteed retirement savings account. He was rejected because the Treasury Department thought he might be a terrorist.
He isn’t. He’s a software consultant from Fullerton, California. But he shares a first name (with a different spelling), last name and middle initial with a financier of a Pakistani terror group. That man, Mohammad Naushad Alam Khan, is on the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN). The 1,026-page catalog lists people and organizations that U.S. citizens and residents are barred from doing business with because of their ties to terror cells, drug cartels or rogue states.
The SDN is essentially a financial no-fly list that cuts people off from U.S. banks ? and, as a result, the global financial system. The SDN has more than doubled in length in the last five years.
Khan later found out that his credit reports from Experian and TransUnion had also been flagged as a potential match. The trouble this caused him was relatively minor ? after he got over the shock of seeing a terrorism flag on his credit report, he spent a few hours navigating customer service lines with the Treasury Department and the two credit bureaus. He got his retirement account set up and his credit reports cleared after providing some personal information to show that he was not the man who had financially supported the 2008 Mumbai attacks. (Neither TransUnion nor Experian answered The Huffington Post’s questions about how they handle such false positive flags.)
Some other people wrongly believed to be on the SDN ? either because they share a name with someone who is or because their name partially matches an alias used by someone on the list (and international criminals often have a lot of aliases) ? are hurt far worse than Khan.
This is a blatant example of the US government going rogue.
And President Trump, a word please.
The one true, and tested, way of stopping any kind of terrorism in its tracks is the following recipe.
Stop expropriating natural resources from foreign countries, to which the US government and corporations have no moral right.
Stop regime-changing governments not to your liking.
You're welcome, Mr. President!! :-)