Stephen Colbert skewers the Terror Watchlist by speaking to Hasan Elahi, who remains on the Watchlist despite being cleared of all charges and who has resorted to an innovative way to respond to those federal watchdogs.
My favorite terrorist is Hasan Elahi. Just saying his name makes my heart go up one Terror Alert level. Why Elahi? Well, to begin with, he’s innocent. A quality so rare in someone so guilty. You see, in 2002, Elahi was detained by the FBI on suspicion of hoarding explosives in a Florida storage unit. Turns out, he didn’t have any explosives. In fact, he was the only person in Florida without gunpowder. But the FBI refused to give Elahi a written letter clearing him of suspicion because he refused to change his name, religion and skin color. Instead, they just asked him to “check in” with them periodically. And here’s where I really like this guy: for the last six years, Elahi has taken the burden off government surveillance by surveilling himself. Everyday, Elahi takes hundreds of photos of his whereabouts and sends them to the FBI. Pictures of the airports he travels through, the bathrooms he visits, even the meals he eats. With these pictures, he’s ensuring that he’ll never be arrested on suspicion of terror, though by judging by some of the meals he’s eating, Gitmo might be an improvement.