SCOTUS Denies Terror Suspect’s Civil Liberties Suit

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court turned down the appeal of a Minnesota man accused of having radical Islamist ties on Tuesday, bringing an end to his lawsuit accusing the FBI of illegal interrogation methods.

Amir Meshal was detained in Eastern Africa by United States forces in Kenya after he fled Somalia upon the outbreak of the 2007-2009 conflict. Fox 9 reports that Meshal claimed he went to Somalia to deepen his understanding of Islam, and just happened to wander into an Al Qaeda training camp on accident. Meshal also was reportedly kicked out of a Mosque in Bloomington for attempting to radicalize young people, several of whom ended up being arrested on terrorism charges.

After his arrest in 2007, Meshal was held without an attorney for more than three months. He was questioned more than 30 times in three different countries by U.S. officials, before being released in New Jersey in May 2007, and was never charged with a crime in connection with the time he was detained. He said that the officials threatened to harm him, and repeatedly denied him his due process rights including access to an attorney.

Meshal later moved to Minnesota where he had familial ties. In May 2016, three men facing terrorism charges cited Meshal’s influence as pushing themselves and others toward terrorism, reported FOX 9. One young man testified that Meshal’s views were so extreme that he thought Meshal might be an FBI informant conducting a sting operation of some sort.

Both the district court and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals previously dismissed the case. The Supreme Court denied Meshal’s petition for writ of certiorari on Tuesday. This leaves in place the lower court ruling which stated that Meshal is unable to sue the FBI or other governmental agencies because the conduct took place overseas.

Anders Koskinen