National Security Cited to Thwart Watchlist

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Justice Department urged a federal judge to deny a Malaysian woman’s request for reconsideration of constitutional claims related to her being placed on terror watchlists, citing potential harm to national security.
     Rahinah Ibrahim, a former graduate student at Stanford University, has been fighting her placement on various terror watchlists since discovering she was on the Transportation Security Administration’s no-fly list in 2005.
     The Justice Department eventually admitted that a mistake by an FBI agent that landed her on a terrorist database and the no-fly list, and got her booted out of the United States. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge William Alsup rebuked the government for its handling of Ibrahim’s case and ordered all agencies to remove her from their terror databases and watchlists.
     But Alsup stopped short of finding in Ibrahim’s favor on her constitutional claims that included First Amendment, substantive due process and equal protection infringements.
     She has since asked the judge to reconsider twice, most recently last week when she alleged that a newly discovered document from 2013 entitled “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidelines” prove that prove that broken rules – and not a mistake by an FBI agent – got her watchlisted and kicked out of the United States.
     In a response filed Wednesday, the Justice Department said Ibrahim’s “proof” came from an Internet article and urged Alsup to leave the issue alone.
     “Leave should be denied because there is no ground for the court to consider these Internet postings, or the purported document referenced,” the DOJ filing states. “The court previously held that all post-2009 updated terrorist screening procedures are privileged and excluded from the record in this case. Nothing in the materials cited by plaintiff reflects that a government official has confirmed the authenticity of the document attached to plaintiff’s motion, which she appears to have obtained from an Internet website. In the absence of such an authorized acknowledgement, the third-party Internet postings cited by plaintiff fail to present any ‘new material facts’ under the district court’s local rules that would warrant reconsideration. The content of any post-2009 terrorism watchlisting policies or procedures (even if plaintiff’s document was such a document) remains privileged, is excluded from the case, and thus cannot be considered on the merits or fees. As a result, there would be no basis on which the court could properly consider the contents of the document in reconsidering its previous orders.”
     The Justice Department warned that Ibrahim’s use of an allegedly leaked document could harm national security by forcing officials to reveal secret information, but called the document “immaterial to this case and the court’s merits and fees orders.”

%d bloggers like this: