American Muslims Sue for Being Watchlisted Without Due Process

By Julianne Hing Aug 15, 2014

On Thursday, five American Muslims filed a lawsuit in federal court charging that they were added to the federal watchlist of "known or suspected terrorists" without due process. 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Yaseen Kadura, Naji Abduljaber, Abdus Samad Tootla, Alaa Saade and Ahmed Saleh Abusaleh by the Michigan chapter of the Council and American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to challenge "the government’s broad and unchecked power to secretly label individuals as ‘known or suspected terrorists’ without concrete facts, but based on only a vague standard of ‘reasonable suspicion,’" said CAIR attorney Lena Masri in a statement. 

"The federal government has unjustly and disproportionately targeted American Muslims by routinely adding their names to the Terrorist Screening Database without affording them their rights to due process," Masri said.

The lawsuit asked that the federal government notify those who are being placed on the watch list, and offer an opportunity to challenge their placement on it. Some 1.1 million people were on the watchlist by the end of 2013, AP reported. Dearborn, Michigan, with a large Muslim population, ranks second on a list of cities with the largest representation of those on the federal terrorist watchlist.

The lawsuit was filed just weeks after The Intercept first reported that the federal government had been secretly monitoring the email of American Muslims.