The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 1991 Gulf War combat veteran and his wife who were wrongly put on the federal government's "terrorist watch list," seemingly because of their Muslim faith. The government refuses to acknowledge the couple's listing or give them an opportunity to challenge it. Currently suspended, Erich Scherfen will permanently lose his job as a commercial airline pilot next month if he is not removed from the list.

Neither Scherfen nor his wife Rubina Tareen has a criminal history nor ties to terrorist activity. Nonetheless, they have both been repeatedly subjected to humiliating questioning, searches, and detention for hours when they attempt to fly or cross the border.

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Amy Foerster & Emily Damron (Saul Ewing); Witold Walczak & Valerie Burch (ACLU-PA)

Date filed

August 19, 2008


U.S. District Court