October 2019 Church & State Magazine | AU Bulletin

A “watchlist” of alleged known or suspected terrorists maintained by the federal government violated constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled last month.

Twenty-three Muslim Americans who had been placed on the list challenged the classification, saying they had no reason to be on it. They were represented in court by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga found that none of the 23 Muslims who were listed had reason to be.

“There is no evidence, or contention, that any of these plaintiffs satisfy the definition of a known terrorist,” Trenga wrote in his Elhady v. Kable ruling. “None have been convicted, charged or indicted for any criminal offense related to terrorism, or otherwise.”

The watchlist was maintained by the FBI. It was created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and had grown to about 1.2 million names. Most of the people on it were Muslims, and many of them reported being detained, handcuffed and interrogated while trying to travel, reported Religion News Service.