The following is a fact-check for the 5/9/2010 episode of Meet the Press: (transcript)

A.G. ERIC HOLDER | Faisal Shahzad’s phone number was not originally acquired because of racial profiling | MOSTLY TRUE

MR. GREGORY: Wasn’t it racial profiling that led us to ultimately get the most important piece of information from this guy, which was a telephone number that he uses in the plot because he was held aside from for a second screening earlier this year?

MR. HOLDER: No. What led us to him was good normal law enforcement. Looking at what people did tracking down that car, where did that car come from, who owned that car, who sold that car? Doing all the kinds of things that we do in traditional law enforcement without any resort to, to racial profiling.

According to this New York Times article, racial profiling was not the reason Mr. Shahzad was stopped on his way back to the US from Pakistan. He was stopped because he was returning from Pakistan and Pakistan was one of the 14 countries listed on the extra-screening list established in the wake of the failed 12/25 “underwear bomber” incident. Now it is of course possible that he received attention because of his race/ethnicity in excess of the extra screening put in place for visitors from those 14 countries, but there is not clear evidence of that. Holder is somewhat misleading in the sense that he appears to be downplaying the role of the phone number the government received from Mr. Shahzad during that stop. According to the same article, the linking of the number to Mr. Shahzad was an essential turn of events during the investigation. Therefore we give Holder a MOSTLY TRUE here.