Society

Minnesota Man Gets Commercial Driving License Despite Being On No-Fly List

| by Robert Fowler

Amir Meshal, a Minnesota resident who is on the Department of Homeland’s Security’s no-fly list, was reportedly able to obtain a Class A commercial driver's license. Despite having been labeled as a terrorist threat, Meshal paid his $4,000 tuition fee using Minnesota’s state workforce program and will now be able to work as a truck driver.

Meshal’s no-fly status tracks back to 2007, when he was arrested by FBI in Kenya on suspicion of having spent time at a Somali terrorist training camp, Fox 9 reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is currently challenging Meshal’s no-fly list status. The organization has appointed attorney Hina Shamsi to represent Meshal, and they plan to argue that Meshal was detained with insufficient evidence. 

In response to Meshal’s lawsuit, the Department of Homeland Security addressed him in a letter, describing him as a “threat of engaging in or conducting a violent act of terrorism and who is operationally capable of doing so," according to Fox 9.

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Meshal was removed from Al Farook mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, in May 2014. According to mosque leaders, Meshal tried to radicalize Muslim youth and encouraged them to travel to war-torn Syria. 

Minnesota’s public safety department says it cannot bar Meshal from obtaining his license, citing that he has no criminal record. 

Shamsi said her client is being unjustly scrutinized and has a right to make a living. In a statement, Shamsi said:

"Mr. Meshal has never been charged with a crime and has sued the government to obtain a fair process to challenge his wrongful inclusion on the No Fly List.  Like many other unemployed Americans, he’s trying to obtain credentials for a job so he can build a life for his family, including a baby.  Any suggestion that Mr. Meshal’s efforts to get a job somehow present a concern is shameful. On Mr. Meshal’s cases: his unlawful rendition and detention case is on appeal.”

Meshal is an American citizen of Egyptian descent. He is currently applying to become a school bus driver but must first pass an ongoing background check. 

Sources: TheBlaze, Fox 9, ACLU

Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot via TheBlaze