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Group sues on behalf of Jacksonville man placed on no-fly list

By Scott Johnson, For News 4 JAX, On 20 July 2017, Read Original
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a Jacksonville man who they say couldn't get back home because he was erroneously placed on the no-fly list.

The group claims the federal government is "imposing an injustice of historic proportions."

READ: Lawsuit over no-fly list

The group is suing on behalf of Zijad Bosnic, a U.S. citizen who was stopped from boarding a flight from Bosnia to the United States.

Bosnic, a married truck driver with three children, was born in Bosnia and moved to Jacksonville in 1997, becoming a U.S. citizen.

His wife and children live in Bosnia, so he makes regular trips there to visit them, according to the complaint.

On March 1, Bosnic was preparing to fly back to the U.S. when he was blocked from boarding by Turkish Airlines. According to the complaint, all he was told was that he needed to take it up with the U.S. Embassy.

When Bosnic went there, he was advised to file a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, and he did, the complaint says.

Then he had an interview with FBI agents, who asked if he was a terrorist and whether he believed ISIS was the reason he was prevented from flying, according to the complaint. The agents told Bosnic that they would help him fly again, but his formal complaint sat in the system until May, when he tried to fly home again and was blocked again, the lawsuit says.

It was then that Bosnic was informed he was on the no-fly list and that his security clearance as a trucker had been suspended, according to the lawsuit.

CAIR said it's not clear why Bosnic was placed on the no-fly list some time in 2017. They said he has not been arrested, charged or convicted of any type of terrorism-related offense.

The group said it wants Bosnic removed from the no-fly list and for the agencies that administer the list to provide legal ways for those placed on the list to be told why they were included and be able to contest it.

The Transportation Security Administration released a brief statement when asked for comment saying only that the agency does not comment on ongoing litigation.

According to the FBI, the no-fly list is a subset of the Terrorist Screening Database and inclusion on the list prevents a person from boarding a commercial flight that is set to enter U.S. airspace.

"Before the Terrorist Screening Center places an individual on the no-fly list, there must be credible information demonstrating that the individual presents a threat of committing an act of terrorism with respect to an aircraft, the homeland, U.S. facilities or interests abroad, or is a threat of engaging in or conducting a violent act of terrorism and is operationally capable of doing so," according to the FBI's website.

For more on the no-fly list, go to fbi.gov.