MANHATTAN - An American Muslim of Pakistani origin has filed a lawsuit against officials of the American Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), accusing them putting him on the no-fly list after refusing to spy on the Muslim community.
"Muhammad Tanvir has been prevented from flying despite the fact that he does not present any threat to aviation security," a lawsuit filed by Tanvir stated, Courthouse News reported.
"Instead, defendants sought to exploit the draconian burden posed by the No Fly List - including the inability to travel for work, or to visit family overseas - in order to coerce him into serving the FBI as a spy with American Muslim communities and places of worship."
Locked in US for more than two years, Tanvir was barred from visiting his ailing mother in Pakistan.
The Queens Muslim clarified that he has never been convicted to crimes nor does he pose any threat to aviation safety.
Supporting Tanvir, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that the no-fly list should hold the name of suspected terrorists rather than innocent citizens.
A draconian tool to coerce Americans into spying on their communities, ACLU described the FBI no-fly list.
The lawsuit has named FBI Director James Comey; Terrorist Screening Center Director Christopher Piehota; Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers; and Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole as defendants.
Established in 2003 and administrated by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, the no-fly list includes some 20,000 people deemed by the agency as known to have, or reasonably suspected of having, ties to terrorism.
About 500 of them are US citizens, according to an agency spokesman.
Earlier in February, A US Muslim Air Force veteran had complained of being barred from leaving the country after being allowed to care for his terminally-ill mother.
In May 2012, fifteen American Muslims, including four military veterans, sued the federal government over being placed on a no-fly list for no apparent reason.
Earlier in 2011, an American Muslim family was kicked off a JetBlue flight because their 18-month child was flagged as no-fly.
In 2009, nine members of a Muslim family were removed from a domestic AirTran Airways flight to Orlando, Florida, after they chatted about their seats in the plane.