to correct their status, depriving them of freedom to travel. The 15 plaintiffs also allegethat current federal rules deprive them of means to get off the list.One of the plaintiffs is the imam of Portland's largest and oldest mosque, the Masjed As-Saber Islamic Center."The system is so opaque, they give no information to people denied boarding," saidNusrat Jahan Choudhury, the ACLU attorney arguing for the plaintiffs. Ms. Choudhurysaid two plaintiffs were asked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to serve asinformants in exchange for removal from the no-fly list.The Portland case alleges similar instances where American Muslims learn they havebeen put on the no-fly list, which has seen its numbers roughly double since the so-called underwear bomber was apprehended in 2009. It also is the latest skirmish in twoyears of litigation that the ACLU has launched arguing that no-fly measures have beenabused.In the case being argued in Portland on Friday, all 15 plaintiffs said that, beginning in2010, they learned they had been barred from air travel as "too dangerous to fly, but tooharmless to arrest," according to the ACLU's complaint.In March 2010, for instance, the mosque's imam, Sheikh Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye,a U.S. citizen, booked a Delta Air Lines flight from Portland to Amsterdam, en route toDubai, according to the complaint. Though he said he had made a similar trip withoutincident in October 2009, a Delta employee told the cleric at the airport that he was on agovernment list.Mr. Kariye said two Portland police officers and a U.S. Marshal escorted him from theticket counter, but they wouldn't explain why he had been added to the no-fly list. Hesaid he filed an official complaint with the Department of Homeland Security.More than two years later, Mr. Kariye doesn't know how he got on the list, the evidenceagainst him, or know how to persuade federal authorities to remove his name, accordingto the complaint.Mr. Kariye said he wasn't asked to become an informant, but others who are plaintiffs inthe suit said they were.
In April 2010, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Ibraheim Mashal tried to board a flightfrom Chicago to Spokane, Wash., when the then-30-year-old son of a Palestinianimmigrant learned he was on the no-fly list, he said in the complaint.Two federal agents who asked to question him identified themselves as from theFBI, he said.Nearly two months later, Mr. Mashal, also a U.S. citizen, said he met with theagents at a suburban Chicago hotel. There, Mr. Mashal said, he was offered adeal: If he helped the FBI as an informant, his name would be removed from theno-fly list. He said he declined and subsequently joined the ACLU complaint.