Lawsuit Claims That FBI Illegally Spied On Muslim College Student
March 9, 2011 by Special To Personal Liberty
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has filed a lawsuit against the FBI alleging that the agency violated the Constitutional rights of a California-based Muslim.
The complaint alleges that the government conducted an illegal surveillance of Yasir Afifi, a college student from Santa Clara, Calif., by placing a GPS tracking device on his car without first obtaining a warrant. After Afifi discovered the device, his friend posted pictures of the equipment online and asked if anyone knew what it was. Agents from the FBI later demanded that the device be returned to the bureau.
CAIR's lawsuit claims that the FBI violated Afifi's 1st, 4th and 5th Amendment rights by failing to obtain a warrant before placing the tracking device on his car. Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller and other "unknown" agents are named as defendants in the litigation. The nonprofit organization alleges that Afifi was monitored because of his heritage, lawful associations and political views.
"In addition to the fear Mr. Afifi now feels when expressing his political views and maintaining certain lawful associations, Defendants' actions have deterred others from associating with him, prospective employers most notably," the lawsuit states.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Muslims and activists convened in New York City's Times Square on March 6 to protest an upcoming Congressional hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims. Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that recent homegrown terrorist plots by extremists have prompted the meetings, which will commence on March 10.
According to the New York Daily News, protesters argued that the hearings are a "witch hunt" that unfairly target law-abiding American citizens.