ST. CHARLES, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) — A former U.S. Marine who happens to be a Muslim said “no deal” to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s offer to get him on the No-Fly List.
Now, Abe Mashal, 31, of St. Charles, says he feels like he’s living in the old Soviet Union.
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Mashal is a dog trainer by trade, and an honorably discharged Marine.
But last April, when he tried to board a flight to Spokane, Wash., for a business trip to train dogs for a client, he found out he is forbidden from flying.
FBI agents questioned Mashal at Midway International Airport, then at his home. Finally, he was summoned to a hotel in Schaumburg, where more FBI agents told him he’d been placed on the No-Fly List because of an e-mail he had sent to an imam they had been watching.
Mashal said he had sought the imam’s advice about raising children in a mixed-religion household. Mashal is Muslim, and his wife is Christian.
Mashal says he was offered a deal – he’d get off the list if he became an undercover informant at mosques.
He refused, and said he felt like he was being blackmailed.
Since the incident, Mashal’s family members and friends have been questioned, and he said he has lost business because he is not allowed to fly.
He says he has never had any links to terror or terrorists and is a “patriotic.”
“I feel like I’m living in communist Russia, not the United States of America, for someone to jump into my life like that,” he said.
Mashal is among the plaintiffs in a suit filed against the federal government by the American Civil Liberties Union.
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