The Mall of America, one of the nation's largest shopping and entertainment venues, is also home to its own counterterrorism unit.
Since Sept. 11, the nation's leaders have warned that government can't protect the country on its own — private businesses and civilians have to do their part, too. Now NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting have found that, at least in one community, these kinds of programs are entangling ordinary people with the police and FBI.
September 7, 2011 NPR News Investigations and the Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed 125 reports of shoppers and incidents at Mall of America that mall security personnel and local police identified as suspicious persons or activities potentially related to terrorism.
September 8, 2011 Programs aimed at keeping a lookout for potential terrorists are not about profiling, government officials stress. But an analysis of suspicious activity reports of incidents at the Mall of America suggests that the mall may be questioning people based partly on their appearance.
September 7, 2011 Documents obtained by NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting detail how the Mall of America shares information about possible threats.