The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by the FBI to stop a civil rights lawsuit filed by 3 Muslims accusing the FBI of censoring them after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The lawsuit accused the FBI of hacking major mosques in Southern California and monitoring Muslim Americans because of their religion.
She also accused the bureau of bias on the basis of religion, in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution and in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unlawful searches and detention.
The judges will hear the FBI’s appeal of a lower court ruling in 2019 that allowed other allegations made by the three men in the case to be examined.
The Supreme Court will consider whether the bulk of the allegations should be dismissed on the basis of what is known as the state secrets privilege, a legal principle that is sometimes stressed when the national security interest is invoked.
The court will hear the case in its next working cycle, which begins in October.
The plaintiffs are Eritrean-born American Yasser Fazaga, an imam at the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo, US-born Ali El-Din Malik, and Yasser Abdel Rahim, from Egypt and permanently residing in the US, both of whom are frequent visitors of the Islamic Center in Irvine.
The lawsuit focuses on a 14-month period in 2006 and 2007 when the FBI paid an informant to collect information on Muslims as part of an anti-terror investigation after the September 11 attacks.
Court papers state that the informant met Muslims in Southern California using an Islamic name, claimed his desire to convert to Islam, recorded conversations with them and conducted surveillance.
He was discovered when he started talking about his desire to commit a violent act, and members of the Muslim group reported him to the police.