Click here to send your email to encourage District Judge Paula Xinis to make public safety the priority and keep air travel safe in Rami Khaled El Ali et al v. Matthew Whitaker et al.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has filed two lawsuits which seek to eliminate major tools used by law enforcement and Corporate America to keep millions of Americans safe.
In one case, CAIR sued the Department of Homeland Security, Terrorist Screening Center, National Counterterrorism Center, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Customs and Border Protection on April 5, 2016. The lawsuit challenges the validity of the Terror Screening Database, the official name for the terror watch list that is used by law enforcement and the private sector to protect hundreds of millions of Americans from terrorism. On September 4, 2019, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga issued an initial order declaring that the Terror Screening Database (aka Terror Watch List) was unconstitutional because it it violates the Due Process Clause. Judge Trenga gave Defendant United States of America and Plaintiff Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) until October 25, 2019 to file briefs and until November 22, 2019 to file responses to those briefs regarding his initial order and their proposals for relief orders. It appears that Judge Trenga plans to issue a final order after considering each parties brief and responses to the briefs.
In another case (this case), CAIR sued several federal agencies to challenge the validity of the No Fly List which protects millions of travelers from terrorism.
On December 14, 2018, attorneys representing several federal agencies filed a Motion To Dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) that seeks to invalidate the No Fly List.
The case against the No Fly List was headed for a hearing on the federal agencies' Motion To Dismiss when CAIR attorneys for the plaintiffs filed amended complaints after it appeared that the federal agencies' motions to dismiss would likely to succeed.
On April 29, 2019, federal agencies filed a Second MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction , MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley, Jr., William Barr, Ken Blanco, Jonathan R. Cantor, L. Francis Cissna, Daniel R. Coats, John C Demers, David J. Glawe, Gina Haspel, Charles H Kable, IV, Joseph Maguire, Kevin K. McAleenan, James W. McCament, John Mitnick, Steven Mnuchin, General Paul M. Nakasone, Kirstjen Nielson, David P. Pekoske, Mike Pompeo, Cameron Quinn, Tracy Renaud, Patrick M. Shanahan, Watchlisting Advisory Council, Beth A. Williams, Peter A. Winn, Christopher Wray.
CAIR attorneys filed another supplement to its Response in Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss on November 29, 2019. The Motion to Dismiss is still pending before the court.
The lawsuit to invalidate the No Fly list was originally announced on August 8, 2018. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a news release titled: CAIR Files Broad Challenge to Watchlisting System, Including TSA's Quiet Skies Program. CAIR’s press release on the filing of this lawsuit states: “Quiet Skies punishes those who—through family, community or the workplace—have relationships with individuals the federal government has designated as a ‘known or suspected terrorist.’”
Many people who apply for special agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation are denied that opportunity because of their “family, community or workplace relationships.” This FBI procedure results in providing the best possible public safety for all Americans. Should this FBI procedure be invalidated because of alleged discrimination? Since evaluating these FBI applicant “relationships” results in improved public safety and public trust how much more so does evaluating air travelers’ “relationships” with known terrorists protect the lives of hundreds of innocent people who travel on one aircraft and increase public confidence of millions of people in air travel?
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), who brought this legal challenge, has a very long list of projects and lawsuits that have vigorously opposed numerous counter-terrorism surveillance measures, policies, training procedures and training personnel. It would be very difficult to find a counter-terrorism measure that is supported by CAIR.
Additionally, many CAIR officials have “family, community or workplace relationships” with terrorists who have been sentenced to prison and/or deported for supporting terrorism. These CAIR officials include: Ghassan Elashi - founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, Mousa Abu Marzook, Randall Royer - CAIR’s former civil rights coordinator, Bassem Khafagi - CAIR’s former community relations director, Rabih Haddad - a former CAIR fundraiser, Siraj Wahhaj - CAIR’s advisory board member, Muthanna Al-Hanooti - former head of CAIR's Michigan branch and Nabil Sadoun - a former CAIR board member. Numerous CAIR officials have defended terrorists. Hussam Ayloush, CAIR L.A. director, blamed America for the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Ahmed Bedier, then CAIR Tampa director, defended Sami Al Arian who was indicted and plead to federal charges of raising support for Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a terrorist organization.
Yet, with all of these questionable “relationships” many CAIR officials, employees and members are not listed on the no-fly list. Therefore, the people who are on the no-fly list most likely have relationships or circumstances with known terrorists that are far more risky to public safety.
El Ali et al v. Sessions et al Case No. 8:18-cv-02415-PX was assigned to District Court Judge Paula Xinis of the United States District Court, District of Maryland.
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Click here to send your email to encourage District Judge Paula Xinis to make public safety the priority and keep air travel safe in El Ali et al v. Sessions et al.
District Judge Paula Xinis
6500 Cherrywood Lane, Suite 400
Greenbelt, MD 20770