By Steve Neavling
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.