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Case Name El Ali v. Barr (Jardaneh v. Barr) NS-MD-0002
Docket / Court 8:18-cv-02415-PX ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
National Security
Attorney Organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Case Summary
This case concerns the placement of Muslims on federal terrorist watchlists.

The United States government employs various terrorist watchlists to track terror suspects. These watchlists include the FBI's Terrorism Screening Database (TSDB) and the Transportation Security Agency's Quiet ... read more >
This case concerns the placement of Muslims on federal terrorist watchlists.

The United States government employs various terrorist watchlists to track terror suspects. These watchlists include the FBI's Terrorism Screening Database (TSDB) and the Transportation Security Agency's Quiet Skies program.

Twenty Muslims filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on August 8, 2018. Defendants included a wide variety of federal agency officials, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. National Security Council, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense. Plaintiffs were represented by state branches of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and private counsel.

All plaintiffs, most of whom were American citizens, had been placed on a federal terrorist watchlist. They alleged that inclusion on these watchlists greatly hampered many aspects of their lives, including volunteering at prisons and conduct pilgrimages to Mecca. They claimed violations of the First Amendment (freedom of expression and association), Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizures), Fifth Amendment (equal protection and due process), as well as the Constitution’s non-delegation doctrine (Congress had not explicitly authorized the executive branch to operate these watchlists). Plaintiffs also alleged violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief and damages. The desired injunctive relief included removal of plaintiffs from watchlists as well as creating a legal mechanism for listees to receive notice and object to their placement. Judge Paula Xinis was assigned to the case.

Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim on December 14, 2018.

Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on March 22, 2019, adding twenty additional plaintiffs, all of whom had also been placed on a terrorist watchlist. Additional claims further alleged an additional violation of the Fifth Amendment (self-incrimination). Plaintiffs also expanded their claims under RFRA, including allegations of pressure to become FBI informants and overall intrusions into religious practices. In response, defendants filed a new motion to dismiss on April 29, 2019.

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss in part on July 20, 2020, dismissing: claims relating to the TSA’s Quiet Skies and Silent Partner programs, for lack of jurisdiction; the First Amendment claim related to right to association, for failure to aver direct and substantial interference; and the non-delegation doctrine claim, as undeveloped. 473 F.Supp.3d 479.

The parties conducted discovery over the following months. Defendants renewed their motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on July 9, 2021.

This case is ongoing.

Eric Gripp - 08/12/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Right to travel
Self-incrimination
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
Language discrimination
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Religion discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Disparate Treatment
Racial profiling
Religious programs / policies
Search policies
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Watchlist
Immigration/Border
Status/Classification
Language
Arabic
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Defendant(s) Central Intelligence Agency
Federal Bureau of Investigation
National Counterterroism Center
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description Forty muslims who had been placed on federal watchlists, including American citizens and foreign nationals.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 08/08/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Court Docket(s)
D. Md.
08/11/2021
8:18-cv-02415-PX
NS-MD-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Md.
08/08/2018
Complaint [ECF# 1]
NS-MD-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
03/22/2019
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 48]
NS-MD-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
06/11/2020
Joint Status Report [ECF# 67]
NS-MD-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
07/20/2020
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 73] (473 F.Supp.3d 479)
NS-MD-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Simms, Gina L Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-9000
Xinis, Paula (D. Md.) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0002 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abbas, Gadeir Ibrahim (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-0004 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Clevenger, Thania (Florida) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Doukoure, Amy (Michigan) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Ghalawanji, Zanah (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-9000
Homer, Carolyn M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Masri, Lena Fatina (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-0004 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Misasi, Amanda Nicole (Washington) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Mohamed, Ahmed M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Pastor, Caridad (Michigan) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Rehman, Birjees (New Jersey) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Sadowsky, Justin Mark (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0004 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Sakaria, Ankur (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-9000
Saleh, Omar (Florida) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0001 | NS-MD-0002-0003 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Healy, Christopher (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0004 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Konkoly, Antonia (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-0004 | NS-MD-0002-9000
Kopplin, Rebecca M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-9000
Schwei, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-MD-0002-9000

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