Lawsuit seeks redress for Muslim-American family detained due to Terrorism Watch List listing

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of an American Muslim family that demands that the government remove the father's name from its terrorism watch lists.
By James Smith | Jul 17, 2017
The ACLU filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of an American Muslim family that demands that the government remove the father's name from its terrorism watch lists. Security had detained the family for more than 10 hours at the U.S. border after a visit with relatives in Canada because the father, Abdisalam Wilwal, allegedly appeared in a federal database of suspected terrorists.
U.S. agents stopped the family when they were driving back into North Dakota. The agents ran the family's name through a database and then approached their van with guns drawn, ordered Wilwal to exit, handcuffed him, and took him to a separate location for hours. He passed out from the intensity of the ordeal, according to the lawsuit.
Wilwal and his family have received no explanation as to why his name would appear on this watch list. He told reporters that he is a U.S. citizen and is not even a devoutly practicing Muslim and does not regularly attend a mosque, much less sympathize with radical Islamists.
The ACLU requested in its suit that the government clear Wilwal's name from the lists. It also wants a promise from the government that it will not harass him or his family in the future.
"The government has refused to tell Mr. Wilwal why his name appeared on the watch list, and it has not provided him with a meaningful opportunity to correct or challenge whatever error led to his placement on it," the family says in the lawsuit. "In any event, the government's placement of Mr. Wilwal on the watch list cannot justify the officers' abuse of him and his family at the border."

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