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Tag: no fly list

Father of NY Bombing Suspect Accused FBI of ‘Punishing’ His Family

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The father of New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami has accused the FBI of “punishing” his family for the accusations against his son.

Mohammed Rahami told the Associated Press that his family is barred from traveling to the U.S. and that the FBI has made “mistake after mistake.”

The father said the FBI failed to act when he told investigators in 2014 that he had suspicions of his son after he returned from trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The FBI, however, disputes those claims, saying the father never raised the issue of his son’s potential interest in terrorism.

Rahami said his wife and one of his sons were prevented from traveling to Afghanistan to the U.S.

His son was arrested for allegedly planting bombs in New York and New Jersey, injuring 31 people last month.

“My son’s bad act damaged our repute, it defamed my motherland and it caused bad impression about Islam, which stands for peace,” the father said.

Maryland Lawmaker Proposes Ban on Firearms for People on Terrorism Watch Lists

Rep. Chris Van Hollen

Rep. Chris Van Hollen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Maryland is at least the second state pursing a ban on firearm sales to people on the federal terrorism watch lists.

The Associated Press reports that state Rep. Chris Van Hollen is asking the governor to “explore every possible state action” to prevent guns from getting into the hands of terrorists.

Van Hollen, a Democrat, sent the letter to Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, on Thursday, the same day the Connecticut governor said he would sign an executive order banning people from the no-fly list from purchasing firearms.

President Obama said Sunday that he supports a similar measure on the federal level.

Other Stories of Interest

Six Men on No-Fly List Want Judge to Examine FBI’s Terrorism Assessments

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How does the FBI decide who goes on the no-fly list?

That’s the question at the center of a lawsuit by six men who were placed on the no-fly list, The Oregonian reports. 

Their lawyers are asking a judge to review how the federal government determines who is placed on the list and whether that determination aligns with threats to commercial airlines or national security.

The government “offers no evidence whatsoever about the accuracy of their predictive model, any scientific basis or methodology that might justify it, or the extent to which it might result in errors,” the lawyers argue.

The Justice Department in late May said the determination to place people on the no-fly list is based on “reasonable suspicion” that they pose terrorism threats.

“The government has taken concrete steps to balance the liberty of suspected terrorists with the serious national security concerns protected by the No-Fly List,” they wrote.

FBI Accused of Using No-Fly List to Coerce Muslims into Becoming Informants

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is accused of removing people from the no-fly list in exchange for becoming informants.

Al Jazeera America reports that four law-abiding Muslim men were removed from the no-fly list just days before a federal district court in New York hears their case.

According to their lawsuit, Tanvir v. Lynch, the no-fly list is used to coerce Muslims to become informants.

“The fact that the government has confirmed that all four of our clients now can fly really affirms our claims in this lawsuit that the only reason they were ever on a no-fly list is … they were refusing to be informants. There was never any valid reason for their placement,” said Diala Shamas, a senior staff attorney at CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility) at the City University of New York School of Law, which brought the lawsuit along with the Center for Constitutional Rights and Debevoise & Plimpton.

The lawsuit alleges Muhammed Tanvir, of New York City, was barred from flying after he refused to become an informant. Then agents offered to remove him if he helped provide information.

“Had Mr. Tanvir actually presented a threat to aviation safety, [FBI agent Sanya] Garcia would not and could not have offered to remove Mr. Tanvir from the list merely in exchange for his willingness to become an informant,” the suit states.

 

American Muslims Claim FBI Placed Them on No-Fly List for Refusing to Be Informants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No one has accused Naveed Shinwari of breaking the law.

But that hasn’t stopped federal authorities from placing him on the no-fly list, which has prevented Shinwari from seeing his wife for the past 26 months, the Guardian reports.

Shinwari said he believes he can’t fly because he’s refused to become an informant for the FBI.

“I’m just very frustrated, [and I said] what can I do to clear my name?” said Shinwari, 30, who has lived in the U.S. since he was 14. “And that’s where it was mentioned to me: ‘you help us, we help you. We know you don’t have a job; we’ll give you money.’”

Shinwari is among four American Muslims accusing the FBI in a lawsuit of retaliating against them for refusing to become informants.
The FBI declined to comment.

Former Stanford University Student Successfully Sues to Be Removed from No-Fly List

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Stanford University student became the first person to successfully challenge placement on a government’s no-fly list, Wired.com reports.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup said Thursday that an FBI agent “erroneously nominated” Rahinah Ibrahim to the list in 2004. The agent, Michael Kelly, “checked the wrong boxes, filling out the form exactly the opposite way from the instructions on the form.”

The Malaysian woman discovered she was on the no-fly list in December 2005 when she was detained and handcuffed while trying to travel to Hawaii to present a paper on affordable housing.

She sued, and despite the mistakes, federal authorities challenged her in court.

Ill. Man Says FBI Tried Getting Him to Go Undercover in Mosque to Get Off No-Fly List


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 31-year-old Illinois man claims the FBI said it could remove him from the no-fly list if he agreed to go undercover at mosques, the Associated Press reported. He refused the offer.

AP reported that Abe Mashal, a dog trainer from St. Charles, Ill., says the bureau said he landed on the list because he exchanged emails with a Muslim cleric who the FBI was watching.

AP reported that he sent an email to cleric asking about raising children in an interfaith family. He is Muslim, his wife is Christian.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security declined comment, AP reported.

Mashal, who discovered he was on the list last April, says he is an honorably discharged Marine, AP reported.  He is one of 17 plaintiffs in an ACLU-filed lawsuit over the list.

Mashal told AP he felt like he was being blackmailed by the FBI when the agency tried to get im to go undercover.

“I feel like I’m living in communist Russia, not the United States of America, for someone to jump into my life like that,” he said.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Detained Teen Says FBI Pressed Him During Interrogation in Kuwait

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A controversy is surfacing over the questioning of an American teen in Kuwait who is on the no-fly list.

The New York Times reports that the teen Gulet Mohamed says he was detained in Kuwait and “underwent a heated interrogation by F.B.I. agents for several hours on Wednesday, in a case that has renewed debate over the Obama administration’s expansion of the no-fly list after the attempted bombing of a passenger plane bound for Detroit in 2009.”

The New York Times wrote: “The interrogation grew steadily more hostile when the agents pressed the teenager, Gulet Mohamed, on his travels to Yemen and Somalia and began calling him an ”embarrassment to his country,” accusing him of lying about his contacts with militants overseas, he said.”

The Times reported that the teen says agents began yelling the name of the radical cleric”Anwar al-Awlaki”, who is wanted by the U.S. Kuwaiti officials then asked that the interrogation end.

The teen, who spoke to the Times by phone from a Kuwait deportation facility, claims the FBI continued to question him even after he asked to be represented by a lawyer.

”They wanted me to lie about myself, and pushed me to lie about things I had done,” he said, according to the Times.

The FBI declined comment, the Times reported.