Two Class-Action Suits Filed by Michigan-Based Muslim Advocacy Group
One suit is on the behalf of 18 Muslim-Americans, including one 4-year-old child, who were allegedly placed on the terrorist watch list without due process.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the second suit on behalf of thousands of American Muslims who appeared on the list for the same reasons and seeks damages for everyone on the list.
Every member of the first case is a U.S. citizen and Muslim. Only one plaintiff is currently a resident of Virginia; the other 17 are all from Michigan.
“None of these individuals were given notice,” Lena Masri, the legal director for CAIR’s Michigan chapter, said to The Detroit News. “All are innocent and none have been charged with crimes.”
The 4-year-old boy, listed as Baby John Doe, according to the lawsuit, was placed on the list of known or suspected terrorists.
“Baby Doe’s only crime is he was born to an American Muslim family,” Masri said.
The child was with his mother at a U.S. airport when he was subjected to chemical testing and “extreme” pat down searches before he was permitted to board the plane.
Civil lawsuits end up costing the U.S. economy about $239 billion annually, but the CAIR have no problem bringing these two suits to court.
The plaintiffs found out they were on the terrorist watch list after their bank accounts were closed, and they were denied the ability to transfer money. Many also found Secondary Security Screening Selection (SSSS) designations on their boarding passes or were subjected to additional searches.
David Walid, executive director of CAIR, said the watch list is affecting thousands of law-abiding citizens.
“Caught up in the net of broad and baseless classification of suspected terrorists are mothers, school teachers, minors and in the case of this lawsuit, even a baby.”
The FBI said it was conducting a specific criminal probe and was not targeting racial or religious communities.
According to ABC News, there are more than one million people on the FBI’s list of “known or suspected terrorists.”