Jamal Tarhuni spent more than 100 hours on trains an cars traveling from Portland to Washington, D.C., and back because he is one of about 500 U.S. citizens on a no-fly list because they are believed to be air-terrorism threats, says the Oregonian. Like many others on the list, the 55-year-old businessman says he has no idea why he is on it.
The FBI won’t comment on its reasons for blocking Tarhuni — even to him. Tarhuni is at a loss for how to defend himself against accusations that no one will divulge. A civil liberties group representing 16 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents on the no-fly list will argue next month that its lawsuit against the FBI should be heard in federal court. Director Timothy Healy of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center said that people who land on no-fly lists are those whom the government has a “reasonable suspicion” are associated with terrorism, Healy said. That standard falls below the “probable cause” threshold for arresting suspects and was established by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in Terry vs. Ohio.