Civil Rights Group Challenges Terror Watch List

Council for American-Islamic Relations says Feds Target innocent Muslims

A local civil rights organization is challenging what it says are thousands of innocent Muslims placed on the federal terrorist watch list.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says Muslims are being placed on the terror watchlist just for being Muslim. It launched a class action suit representing those placed on the list without due process.

Lena Masri is the legal director of CAIR Michigan. She said one plaintiff in CAIR’s class action suit is a 7-month-old the government has identified as a known or suspected terrorist.

“So here you have a baby that’s being treated as a terrorist,” Masri said. “And his only crime is that he was born to an American Muslim family.”

Masri says a second suit focuses on individual plaintiffs.

“And it also seeks a declaration from the court that the watch list is unconstitutional, that their rights have been violated,” Masri said. “And it seeks a major overhaul of the watch-listing system.”

Masri says she hopes to learn through the courts exactly how many American Muslims have been placed on the watch list without being charged with a crime. 



  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.