Quantcast
Connect with us

Federal judge rules that TSA, FBI can detain and arrest you for carrying Arabic flashcards

Published

on

A former college student detained at Philadelphia International Airport after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials discovered he was carrying Arabic language flashcards lost his bid to sue the federal agents who detained him.

Nicholas George alleged that the TSA agents violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights when they arrested him as he tried to board a flight from his Philadelphia home to Pomona College in 2009.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to Chief Judge Theodore McKee’s ruling, despite the fact that George clearly had the right to carry the flashcards, the TSA agents were “at the outer boundary” of justifiability in detaining him. In addition to everyday words and phrases like “day before yesterday,” “fat,” “cheap,” and “pink,” the deck of flashcards also contained and phrases like “bomb,” “terrorist,” “explosion,” and “to target.”

Judge McKee believes that those words and phrases warranted further investigation, even though George told the officers that he was using the flashcards in order to learn Arabic for a study abroad program in which he would be traveling to Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

“I want to serve my country using my Arabic language,” George told CNN. “And it just seems crazy to me that for that I was arrested and treated like a criminal.”

George claimed that after the first two officers discovered the cards, they swabbed his person and cell-phone for explosive residue, then called a supervisor. George alleged that when the supervisor arrived, she subjected him to an aggressive interrogation.

TSA AGENT: Do you know who did 9/11?

GEORGE: Osama bin Laden.

TSA AGENT: Do you know what language he spoke?

GEORGE: Arabic.

TSA AGENT: Do you see why these cards are suspicious?

ADVERTISEMENT

While this TSA agent was questioning George, a Philadelphia police officer entered the room, handcuffed him and led him through the terminal to the Airport Police Station, where he was detained for an addition four hours. George claimed that no officers questioned him during that time, nor did any inform him as to why he had been arrested.

Eventually, two agents from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrived and questioned him, asking whether he was a member of a “Pro-Islamic” or “communist” group, or whether he had ever met “anyone in his travels who was overtly against the U.S. government.” After questioning him for 30 minutes, the FBI agents determined George was not a threat and released him.

Neither the TSA nor the FBI disputed George’s account of the facts, and Judge McKee ruled that “George’s factual allegations do not establish that [the TSA and FBI agents] violated a Fourth Amendment right.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Once TSA Officials were satisfied that George was not armed or carrying explosives, much of the concern that justified his detention dissipated. However, it did not totally vanish or suggest that further inquiry was not warranted,” he wrote.

“Thus, the actions of the TSA Officials corresponded to the level of concern raised by the flashcards.”

ADVERTISEMENT

[Screencap via Raw Replay]


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

A whopping 14 percent of new US COVID-19 cases are coming from Texas

Published

on

With the daily number of new coronavirus infections in Texas now exceeding that of most other states, experts say Texas has become a hot spot of the global pandemic and that more aggressive measures are needed to slow the virus’ spread.

Texas’ new confirmed cases of the coronavirus now make up around 14% of the U.S. total — measured by a seven-day average — a significantly higher proportion than its 9% share of the nation’s population. Since July 1, the U.S. has reported 358,027 new infections. Of those, 50,599 were in Texas.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 10,000 new cases — representing nearly 20% of the nation’s new cases for the day. It could be a “catch-up” from the July 4 holiday, DSHS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said, noting that numbers reported Sunday and Monday were lower.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Devastating new ad uses Ronald Reagan’s words against Trump to stunning effect

Published

on

The Lincoln Project is not the only right-wing group that has been creating attack ads slamming President Donald Trump. Another is Republican Voters Against Trump, which uses the words of President Ronald Reagan in its latest video to illustrate Trump’s failures as president.

In the ad — which lasts one minute and 40 seconds — RVAT contrast Reagan’s words with images of the U.S. during the Trump era. The message is not subtle: Under Trump, the United States is a long way from Reagan’s vision for the country.

The ad isn’t aimed at liberals and progressives, many of whom would argue that Reagan’s economic policies were bad for the American working class during the 1980s. It asks Republicans: “Has your party left you?”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The sheep-like loyalty of Trump supporters is starting to backfire

Published

on

Donald Trump thinks his voters are morons. This universal truth was once again demonstrated this week by a Facebook ad working Trump’s new statue-oriented campaign strategy. The ad declared, “WE WILL PROTECT THIS” and featured a photo of … no, not some racist-loser Confederate general astride a horse but “Cristo Redentor,” the famous statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, which, for those keeping track, is not in the United States but in Brazil, a sovereign nation in a different continent.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image