Naveed Shinwari is one of four American Muslim men who claims that he was placed on a no-fly list by the U.S. government because he refused to become an informant for the FBI.
Shinwari claims that he received multiple visits from FBI agents after his flight to Afghanistan to get married in 2012. Shinwari says he was questioned by the FBI before flying home to Omaha, Nebraska, and afterwards.
Shinwari told The Guardian that FBI agents asked him about the “local Omaha community" and "did I know anyone who’s a threat."
“I’m just very frustrated, [and I said] what can I do to clear my name?” added Shinwari. “And that’s when it was mentioned to me, you help us, we help you. We know you don’t have a job, we’ll give you money.”
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"In March of 2012, I found out that I was on the no-fly list, when I had a flight to Orlando for a job," Shinwari told Democracy Now (video below). "And in the airport, I was escorted by police officers telling me that I could not fly anymore. That’s the first time I found out."
"They told me to, 'Tell us everything. And where did you been, where have you been?'" recalled Shinwari. "'And have you attended any training camps in Afghanistan, or even to Pakistan?' And to all of those questions, my answer was negative. 'If you met individuals that pose a threat to national security,' and my answer was negative, of course."
Shinwari, who now lives in Connecticut, has tried to return to Afghanistan to see his wife for 26 months, but cannot get off the no-fly list.
Shinwari and three other Muslim men are suing the U.S. government, which they claim is stopping them from flying in order get them to inform on their Islamic communities.
The FBI won't comment on the lawsuit by the four Muslim American men, who are represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility project at the City University of New York.
Sources: Democracy Now and The Guardian