The Secret Service has not confirmed why Khairullah was barred from attending, but Khairullah claims that it may be because he had been mistakenly listed on the FTSD between 2019 and 2022.0100 Khairullah, along with other plaintiffs and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has filed a lawsuit alleging that the FTSD discriminates against Muslims and violates the Fifth Amendment right to due process. The suit also alleges that the FTSD is in violation of the Fifth Amendment equal protection clause:
The watchlist, including the No Fly List, are governed by vaguely articulated and arbitrarily applied criteria. As a result, the watchlist and No Fly List have no meaningful connection to actual threats to aviation.
The suit also alleges the FTSD violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment:
As a matter of policy and official practice, Defendants consider origin from Muslim-majority countries, travel to Muslim-majority countries, attending mosques and Islamic events, zakat donations to Muslim charities, the wearing of typical Muslim dress, Muslim-sounding names, the frequency of Muslim prayer, adherence to Islamic religious practices, Islamic religious study, the transfer of money to individuals residing in Muslim majority countries, affiliations with Muslim organizations, and associations with Muslims in the United States or abroad to be “derogatory information” supporting a finding of reasonable suspicion.
The suit concludes by requesting an end to the FTSD and the expungement of all plaintiffs’ records that stated they have been on the FTSD.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad commented on the filing of the suit, stating, “This system has caused great harm to the lives of thousands of innocent people. The suit calls on the federal government, as the litigation progresses, to remove the watchlist. A Secret Service spokesperson said to VOA News that they regret any inconvenience caused. The FTSD contains 1.5 million names, divided into categories such as the No Fly List or the Selectee List. The No Fly List currently contains 80,000 names. These are people who have been banned from entering or leaving the US. The Selectee List is for those who can fly, but must undergo additional screening at airports. The suit alleges that even after someone is removed from the FTSD, there is still a record showing they were once on the list, leading to further discrimination.