man speaking (l) TSA at airport (c) man speaking (r)

Jim Lambert/Shutterstock @saadmustafauk/TikTok (Licensed)

‘If it’s always me, it’s not random’: Traveler calls out TSA for racial profiling after subjecting him to ‘random’ search for the 5th time

'They make sure you know you're brown.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Jan 14, 2023

A TikToker claiming to have been subject to “random” searches by the Transportation Security Administration while traveling to and from the United States on five separate occasions has gone viral with over 390,000 views on his video.

In the video, poster Sa’ad Mustafā (@saadmustafauk) says he thinks it is odd to be selected five separate times to be randomly searched, and that it may be due to racial profiling.

“So I just returned from the U.S., and I only got one thing to say and that is this: they say the airport search is random,” he says in the video. “If it’s always me, it’s not random, OK. Five times, all right.”

Mustafā continues, “I keep saying I’m British with a British passport but they make sure, they make sure you know you’re not British. They make sure that you know you’re brown.”

@saadmustafauk My rant for the day #airportsecurity #airport #immigrant #usa #uk #borderforce ♬ original sound – Sa’ad Mustafā

The Daily Dot has reached out to both Mustafā as well as the TSA via email regarding the video.

Some viewers shared in the comments section that they’d had similar experiences with air travel, or that their family members had similarly been targeted.

“Dude, it’s happened to me so many times. And then I get ‘you speak really good English,'” one commenter said.

“I had a layover in the U.S.,” another commenter wrote. “They asked me if my hijab was a fashion choice or a religious one. Then swabbed it for drugs. Not random at all.”

“Went to US for first time last year, border agent accused me of lying about where I was born cause I said Hyderabad, he only knew one from India,” a user said.

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*First Published: Jan 14, 2023, 2:03 pm CST