Four Muslim men have filed a lawsuit against the FBI, claiming they were put on the no-fly list just because they refused to become informants.
The men come from the terrorist-supporting countries of Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan, and they claim to have lost job opportunities because of the ban, despite the fact that it has been lifted.
Robert Shwartz, who is representing the Muslims in this case, told U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams that, “various FBI agents punished [the men] and put them on because they refused to become informants at their mosques.” He added that because they were banned from flying, they could not travel to see loved ones or secure various job opportunities, and they suffered the “stigma of being treated as threats to aviation security.”
“Money relief is the only relief,” Shwartz concluded.
Jameel Albighah, one of the plaintiffs in this case, is an American citizen from Yemen whose wife and daughters still live there. He told the court that being on the list was devastating.
“They messed me up for life,” he lamented. “My youngest daughter doesn’t even know me.”
Assistant U.S. attorney Ellen Blain tried to get the case thrown out, arguing neither the law nor the evidence proved that the agents were personally at fault for violating the Muslim men’s constitutional rights. She also warned that pursuing this case would only cause unnecessary scrutiny of national security issues.
This lawsuit can of course be blamed on Obama, since his administration announced a new policy in April that allows American travelers to petition the U.S. Transportation Security Association one time after they have been denied entry on an aircraft to find out if they are on the no-fly list. This policy lifted a veil of secrecy that had partially protected all of us since 9/11.
Nice one, Obama…
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