Lawyers for a Chicago-area resident on the government’s terrorist list filed a civil lawsuit on Sept. 5, 2012 challenging his inclusion on the list saying he has been living under an “unprecedented embargo” for the past 17 years. Muhammad A. Salah, a U.S. citizen, was added to the “Specially Designated Terrorist” list by the Department of Treasury in 1995, effectively barring most Americans from engaging in financial transactions with him and his wife. According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Treasury imposed the sanctions without a “hearing, no opportunity to respond, and no statement of reasons” and there “is no endpoint to the designation and its restrictions.” Salah is believed to be the only person in the U.S. with such a designation.
“The organizations are concerned that the government’s treatment of Salah amounts to unnecessarily sweeping and arbitrary punitive actions that are an egregious affront to the basic values of justice, but AFSC and ADC are restricted in their ability to so advocate in coordination with Salah by the very breadth of the government’s restrictions.”
Salah had been imprisoned in Israel for over four years after Israeli police found $95,000 in his apartment, which said was intended to support terrorism. In February 2007, Salah was acquitted of taking part in a racketeering conspiracy aimed at supporting Hamas, but found guilty of obstruction of justice for lying under oath on a questionnaire in a lawsuit over the fatal shooting of American teenager David Boim in Israel in 1996. He was sentenced in July 2007 to 21 months in federal prison and fined $25,000.