Hasan Elahi Is Not A Terrorist; Hasan Elahi Put His Life Online at TrackingTransience.net

Hasan Elahi photo

Meet Hasan Elahi, a Bangladesh-born American 35-year-old artist and Rutgers University professor (pictured above, via), who was mistakenly identified as a terrorist by FBI. To prove his innocence and not want to be locked in Guantanamo terrorists prison, Elahi decided to make his entire life completely online at TrackingTransience.net. Excerpts from the report of Wire

There are already tons of pictures there. Elahi will post about a hundred today — the rooms he sat in, the food he ate, the coffees he ordered. Poke around his site and you'll find more than 20,000 images stretching back three years. Elahi has documented nearly every waking hour of his life during that time. He posts copies of every debit card transaction, so you can see what he bought, where, and when. A GPS device in his pocket reports his real-time physical location on a map.

Hasan Elahi TrackingTransience net screenshot

Screenshot of Hasan Elahi's TrackingTransience.net as of 7:31 PM (GMT-8, Pacific Time), January 14, 2008,

Elahi's site is the perfect alibi. Or an audacious art project. Or both. The Bangladeshi-born American says the US government mistakenly listed him on its terrorist watch list — and once you're on, it's hard to get off. To convince the Feds of his innocence, Elahi has made his life an open book. Whenever they want, officials can go to his site and see where he is and what he's doing. Indeed, his server logs show hits from the Pentagon, the Secretary of Defense, and the Executive Office of the President, among others.
The globe-hopping prof says his overexposed life began in 2002, when he stepped off a flight from the Netherlands and was detained at the Detroit airport. He says FBI agents later told him they'd been tipped off that he was hoarding explosives in a Florida storage unit; subsequent lie detector tests convinced them he wasn't their man. But with his frequent travel — Elahi logs more than 70,000 air miles a year exhibiting his art work and attending conferences — he figured it was only a matter of time before he got hauled in again. He might even be shipped off to Gitmo before anyone realized their mistake. The FBI agents had given him their phone number, so he decided to call before each trip; that way, they could alert the field offices. He hasn't been detained since.

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