Muslim U.S. citizen sues FBI for spying

March 5, 2011 - 0:0

A Muslim U.S. citizen has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for violating his constitutional rights by spying on him with a GPS device hidden in his car.

Twenty-year-old Yasir Afifi, studying in Santa Clara, California, alleges that the U.S. government illegally tracked his movements using a GPS device, Reuters reported.
The lawsuit accused the FBI and the Justice Department of violating his constitutional rights by conducting searches without a warrant, tracking his movements, and restricting his freedom of association as well as his freedom of speech.
He sought unspecified damages and requested a judge bar the FBI and Justice Department from tracking him without a warrant and expunge any records from what they have collected.
Afifi further pointed out that he was alerted to the tracking device by a mechanic last October when he took his car for an oil change.
The U.S. citizen was confronted by FBI agents days later after removing the device.
“Spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant and without justification is unconstitutional and should be rejected by all Americans concerned with civil liberties,” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Executive Director Nihad Awad said.
CAIR staff attorney Gadeir Abbas said, “This lawsuit asks for a court order to prevent the FBI from doing what they did in October again. And, it goes on to ask the court to order an end to the FBI's policy that allows their agents to engage in these unlawful and unconstitutional practice.”
The FBI has been sued by some civil liberties groups for some of its surveillance tactics on Muslims, including using undercover agents to attend mosques in an attempt to root out “potential terrorists.”
The CAIR and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit last week against the FBI and its seven employees for spying on local mosques in the United States.
The lawsuit alleged that over the course of fourteen months beginning in 2006, the FBI “indiscriminately collected” personal information on hundreds or even thousands of Muslim Americans.
Many Americans feel a growing caution toward Muslims. Islamic groups in the U.S. say tensions in the workplace are increasing against Muslims all over the country, even in historically and ethnically diverse parts of the United States.
(Source: Agencies)