Government programs to counter violent extremism (CVE) unfairly targeted Muslims based on flawed studies — even years before the Trump administration signaled it would explicitly focus such efforts on radical Islamists, civil liberties advocates told Twin Cities audiences on Friday.

"The veil has been pulled away," said Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York. "The program has been discriminatory from the beginning."

German spoke to an audience at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law on Friday morning and was scheduled to participate in a panel hosted by the Young Muslim Collective Friday evening in Minneapolis. His visit came amid uncertainty over what shape federal policies aimed at countering homegrown extremism will take under the new administration.

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