Wanting to Testify in No-Fly List Lawsuit Lands Person on No-Fly List

Government officials petty, you say? I'd put on my shocked face but it was confiscated by TSAA civil rights trial was
supposed to begin this week in San Francisco targeting the
Department of Homeland Security’s opaque, mystifying and utterly
inaccessible no-fly list. It immediately hit a snag. The daughter
of Rahinah Ibraham, the individual suing the government for being
placed on the list, was denied permission by the Department of
Homeland Security to fly to the United States herself in order to
testify. Techdirt
takes note

Apparently, one of the people set to testify in the case,
Ibrahim’s oldest daughter, Raihan Mustafa Kamal (an American
citizen, born in the US), was blocked from boarding her flight to
the US to appear at the trial, and told that she was on the no fly
list as well. Kamal, a lawyer, was an eye witness to her mother
being blocked from boarding her flight. The US knew that Kamal was
set to testify and from all indications, in a move that appears
extremely petty, appears to have purposely blocked her from flying
to the US. Kamal was directly told by the airline that DHS had
ordered them not to let Kamal to board. The airline even gave her a
phone number for a Customs and Border Patrol office in Miami,
telling her to call that concerning her not being able to

Judge William Alsup, who is known for his rather no-nonsense
approach in court (and his willingness to dig very deep into
understanding the issues), quickly noted that this apparent
blocking of Kamal was ridiculous, and demanded that the government
explain what happened. When they insisted they knew nothing about
it, Alsup wasn’t satisfied. Nor was he satisfied with the story
they eventually came back with.

A government lawyer then apparently claimed that Kamal had
merely missed her flight. The next day, lead counsel for the
plaintiff came back with evidence that, no, really, DHS ordered an
airline not to let her on board. Courtesy of blogging from
The Identity Project
, a group devoted to defending the right
for Americans to move around the country freely:

None of that was true, Ms.
[Elizabeth] Pipkin told the court this morning. “She didn’t miss
the flight. She was there in time to check in. She has not been
rebooked on another flight.” And most importantly, it was because
of actions by the DHS — one of the defendants in Dr. Ibrahim’s
lawsuit — that Ms. Mustafa Kamal was not allowed to board her
flight to SFO to attend and testify at her mother’s trial.

Ms. Pipkin said that Ms. Mustafa Kamal had sent her a copy of
the “no-board” instructions which the DHS gave to Malaysia
Airlines, and which the airline gave to Ms. Mustafa Kamal to
explain as much as it knew about why it was not being allowed to
transport her.  Ms. Pipkin handed Judge William Alsup a copy
of the DHS “no-board” instructions to Malaysia Airlines regarding
Ms. Mustafa Kamal.

Major props to Malaysia Airlines for providing a copy of the DHS
instructions to Ms. Mustafa Kamal. Other airlines receiving similar
instructions have acquiesced to DHS orders to keep the instructions
from the DHS, and the reasons for the airlines’ actions, secret
from the would-be travelers whose rights are affected. So far as we
know, this is the first time an actual no-fly order has been
disclosed to a would-be traveler or potentially to the public.

Read more of the Identity Project’s court coverage
right here
, which includes a lengthy background about the

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from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/04/wanting-to-testify-in-no-fly-list-lawsui

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