Jun 16 2010
Unindicted co-conpirators from CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) are calling for the return to the U.S. of American Muslim citizens barred from returning home from overseas and subjected to FBI pressure tactics that CAIR calls a form of “extraordinary rendition.”
What do you want to bet Obama complies?
The NEW YORK TIMEStoday profiled an American Muslim from Virginia who is currently in legal limbo in Egypt after being subjected to repeated FBI interrogations and placed on a no-fly list.
As a 26-year-old Muslim American man who spent 18 months in Yemen before heading home to Virginia in early May, Yahya Wehelie caught the attention of the F.B.I. Agents stopped him while he was changing planes in Cairo, told him he was on the no-fly list and questioned him about his contacts with another American in Yemen, one accused of joining Al Qaeda and fatally shooting a hospital guard.
But after many hours of questioning by F.B.I. agents, he remains on the no-fly list. When he offered to fly home handcuffed and flanked by air marshals, Mr. Wehelie said, F.B.I. agents turned him down.
Mr. Wehelie’s predicament reflects the aggressive response of American counterterrorism officials to recent close calls with major terrorist plots: last year’s foiled plan to blow up the New York City subway; the failed attempt to take down an airliner headed for Detroit on Dec. 25; and the fizzled car bombing in Times Square on May 1.
At least three Americans have been detained in recent weeks by the Yemeni authorities on suspicion of terrorist connections, and civil liberties advocates have identified a half-dozen Americans or legal United States residents on the no-fly list who are stranded abroad, most of them after visiting Yemen.
In his letter to Holder, CAIR National Executive Director and Hezbollah supporter, Nihad Awad, described the pressure exerted on the Virginia Muslim and on others in similar circumstances:
“His passport was confiscated and FBI agents have subjected him to at least eight interrogations, despite assertion of his constitutional right to remain silent as advised by his attorney. He has been explicitly told that he is on the no-fly list, and he has been pressured to submit to a polygraph test.
“After a polygraph test on June 8, he was allegedly told by an agent that, based on his answers, he would ‘never see the United States or your family again’ unless he ‘rethought’ his answers. Subsequently, he says he has been pressured by the FBI to spy on the American Muslim community when and if he is allowed to return to the United States.
“We are concerned that FBI interrogations of American citizens in a condition of forced exile are being conducted without due process and using techniques that amount to a form of ‘rendition.’ “The use of apparently illegal pressure tactics flies in the face of President Obama’s commitment to abandon unconstitutional policies instituted under the previous administration.
“We are also deeply concerned that this apparent targeting of American Muslims not only infringes on constitutional rights, but also sends the message that Muslims are second class citizens(NOT second class, NO CLASS) and that the due process of law does not apply to them.