Ex-Marine Furious Over Inclusion On No-Fly List

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.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • uffdaron

    Unfortunately, there is a growing amount of information and actions, and especially, LACK of actions, that lead us to think Islam is incompatible with American ideals and way of life.

    The more exposure we have, the more it appears that we are facing a cult and not a beneficient religion.

    These apparent injustices will continue until America becomes convinced that Islam offers no danger to America. Sad but true.

    • disgusted with humanity

      why is it that islam has to be compatible with the american way of life? why cant americans be understanding and accepting of other cultures. why is it that it has to b e american or nothing at all?

      • george smythson

        Because you chose to move here… America is about freedom and opportunity for all. If you don’t want to allow others freedom, don’t come here.

    • Morgan S.

      There have been Muslims in America since the early 1800s so whatchu talki’l about Willis?


    I know this guy very well and him and many other are wrongly accused every single day!! You nick would be singing a diffrent tune If this happened to you my friend. As for that Fort Hood job there were clear indications that the army ignored!! Mashal should not nor ever will be placed in that kind of catigory !!!

    • Denver Deadite

      “I`ll feel sorry for Mashal about as much as i feel sorry for that Army Major that did the Fort Hood Shootings!!!”

      Yes, because the best thing to do is paint all Muslims with the same broad brush of ignorance and stupidity. That’ll show ’em!

  • Jim

    First of all, I’d like to thank Abe Mashal for his service to our country. Secondly I’d like to say how stupid the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is as they should have offered this man a express pass at the airports, not put him on the no fly list.

  • Eman

    All muslims and christians are terrorists if you have the same thought process of Nick… christians blew up Oklahoma fed building and muslims blew up world trade, It must be their all terrorists…

    • Stefanie

      Thank you Eman!! It always amazes me how Timothy McVeigh’s actions are not considered when people speak or write about radical violence in our country. It should not escape anyone, the main reasons are that Timothy not only subscribed to the Christian faith and he was white.

      • Charles

        The comparison is weak because McVeigh did not do it in the name of Christianity. The muslims attacked the World Trade Center in the name of Islam. I suppose that is why Americans are afraid to accept Islam. Most of their terror if not all is in the name of Islam.

      • Sarah

        McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma fed building because he was an anarchist that hated the government. It had nothing whatsoever to do with religion, and at any rate, he was an atheist. Try actually doing the research rather than just posting completely ignorant assumptions.

      • 海賊王 ライアン

        According to wikipedia: McVeigh was a registered Republican when he lived in Buffalo, New York in the 1980s, and had a membership in the National Rifle Association while in the military.[82]

        Which means he’s not an Anarchist. Contrary to popular fantasy, Anarchists in the US rarely do anything violent and much prefer peaceful means of change such as participation in protests and the counter economy as outlined by Samuel Edward Konkin III.

    • frank

      Eman — what an idiot. NOt worth even pointing out your obvious errors.

    • disgusted with humanity

      does no one understand the concept of extremists? like the kansas group protesting military funerals? are they not extremists, just like the taliban, or people who hurt others for their “causes”.

      • Morgan S.

        The WBC are indeed religious extremists.

  • Stefanie

    Please explain to those of us not so enlightened — how in the world you can compare Mr. Mashal’s situation to the Fort Hood shootings? Really, there has to be a reason and not wanting to presume the insinuation is racist — I am interested in any other “reasons” there could be for the comparison.

    • frank

      Because if they Army had pulled the Ft Hood terrorist in while he was emailing a know terroist then scores of lives would be saved.

      I am glad Homeland Security is being proactive.

    • Try Again

      It wouldn’t be racist anyway, whether you want to presume it is or not, because Islam isn’t a race. Oops?

  • Meri

    I wonder if any US citizens who email extreme Christian radical groups are put on the no-fly list?
    Maybe they should be if this is the reasoning behind Mr. Mashal’s being singled out as suspect.
    This ignorance is becoming far too obvious in today’s society.

    • Charles

      There are no extreme Christian groups associated with bombing planes, buildings, etc. That is the difference.

      • Robbie

        You’re wrong. They bomb what they see as abortion clincis.

      • Morgan S.

        Really? You haven’t heard of the Christian Identity Church which has been part of the Neo-Nazi movement in America? The White Supremicist Church of The Creator aka the Creativity Movement?

      • Sheep O'Doom

        There are no extreme Christian groups associated with bombing planes, buildings, etc. That is the difference.

        Really? So it was really muslims who blew up the 16th Street Baptist Church Not the CHRISTIAN Terrorist Group Klu Klux Klan?
        You HAVE heard of the KKK right?

        How about a Christian Terrorist group called The IRA? Ever hear of them?
        In 1979 Count Mountbatten was assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who planted a bomb in his fishing boat.

        Need I go on?

      • disgusted with humanity

        to give a better example of extremists in the christian groups from the time that we are currently in, would be those protesting the military funerals, which in fact goes against “the christian belief”. then there again, the KKK is still known to be forming, i know for sure in wax, ky. also, abortion clinics as one said, but more “bombing” online, tv, in schools(still), etc. all groups, whether they be religious or not have taken their beliefs to an extreme, especially recently, to try and get others to understand. though they themselves do not understand what they do not care to know.

      • Christian M.

        What a totally ignorant/stupid statement!!! Bombing family planning centers, murdering doctors who do abortions (on girls who usually got no education or help from their families)…and disrupting funerals for our fallen armed services men and women???

        Charles, you are full of horse manure!

    • k

      Then maybe those Westboro Baptists couldn’t fly to all those funerals they protest at.

  • Matt Hillman

    This man is a marine and thats all anyone should see. thankyou for your service abe

    • Blath

      Wasn’t that sniper a few years ago in the D.C. area a marine or at least some branch of U.S. Military?

  • Douglas Mitten

    The man is a former marine not an x-marine. Any marine with an honorable discharge is a former marine and any marine with a dis-honorable discharge is an x-marine – Semper Fi ! Homeland Security, the FBI and law enforcement in general is out of control and needs to be reigned in by the Federal Courts.

    If you love your freedom – thank a VETERAN/Active Duty Service Member!

    • Blath

      What about Marines with an Entry Level Separation? It is not honorable or dishonorable.

      • df312

        If you don’t graduate from boot camp you don’t carry the title. General Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, recently stated that “There are no former Marines or ex-Marines. We have active duty Marines, Reservist Marines, retired Marines, and civilian Marines. Once a Marine always a Marine”

    • Sheep O'Doom

      If folks simply stopped flying for a week over this & the TSA the airlines would DEMAND things change or go out of business.

  • abe m

    Thanks everyone! Whether your comment was for or against me, I respect your right to free speech. I hope this situation is a distant memory soon!

    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Hi Abe, as a Navy Vet I always like it when people recognize others’ service. Unfortunately, you are not the only one to get singled out. Because of my complexion (I kind of look like I stepped off a Turkish travel agency poster), I have been constantly selected for “Additional” screening at airports. Luckily for me I rarely fly anymore, so I don’t have to deal with those hassles on a regular basis anymore.
      I would also bet that those Mooks from Homeland Security and the FBI had NO military background! Good luck on your lawsuit! Let the rest of America know if you still need any help because you got close to 10 or so million Vets willing to support you!

    • Grammadee94

      Thank you Abe for your patriotic service to our country and your “adopted” country! I’m embarrassed for my fellow commenters who made all of the derogatory comments about you, especially comparing you to the Ft. Hood suspect and that all Muslims are Terrorists! That’s like saying all MEXICANS, BLACKS, ASIANS, etc are gang bangers and drug dealers. I’m also embarrassed that the FBI would offer you a “compromise” to be a “spy” in exchange for removing you from the “no fly” list. INCREDIBLE.

      Please forgive these JERKS for their stupidity.

    • Morgan S.

      Abe, I’m an AF Vet (1974-79) and I thank you for your service. It is repugnant to me as an American that you’ve been treated so badly by our own government. To demand you spy against someone as a quid pro quo so you do the needed travel to earn your living, because of your religion is wrong. It will always be wrong. You served your country with honor and that should be all that matters. Semper Fi and Aim High!

    • Cathy

      Abe:Thank you for serving this country. I’m proud to tell you that I served this country too. Its wrong to think everyone who is moslum are bad and will do harm to this country. I hope you will file a law suit against them. Contact your state senator & congress men & women to help you clear this matter up. Its wrong to destroy a man business that helps feed his family. Its wrong for the FBI to do this to you. Its wrong to blackmail you too. Fight them in court. If they can get away with doing it to you they will do it to others. Its wrong. I hate law enforcement. My son was shot to death by law enforcement 5 years ago in another state..The descriptions of my son don’t match what was given, nothing in the police report matches up to what happen. I was followed & harass by law enforcement. No lawyers will take this case. Law enforcement is getting away with it. Please stand up to them. File your law suit. Don’t let them get away with it. Thank you

    • MadcityColleen

      Thank you, Abe, for your service. Sorry for the ignorance of the Feds here. Best wishes for a successful and harassment-free future.

  • Bubba

    Stephanie & Eman; the fundamental difference between OKC and 9/11 was that McVeigh didn’t use his religion as justification for his actions. If right wing extremist Christian groups are using their religion to justify terrorist acts, they should rightfully be scrutinized no differently than Muslims.

    It is truly unfortunate that this happened – especially to a former marine. I am hopeful that DHS gets their act in gear sometime before I pass on…oh well…

  • Win

    Not all Muslims are terrorist, but 99% of terrorist are Muslims!!

    • Jade

      I’d like to see the study that backs that statement up cause I am pretty sure it was falsified!

  • Phaethor

    This just happened in Orlando this past weekend: I was coming out of Sam’s Club with my daughter when we saw an Army Sergeant walking in. We stopped talked a little bit because my daughter wanted to say hi and thank you to him. We left and went to public event. There we witnessed two Florida Sheriff’s perform the worst profiling action I have ever witnessed. While talking with a man they discovered he was Muslim. As soon as he said he was Muslim we heard one officer say “That’s what wrong with ya’ll people.”. The other officer immediately asked the man for his ID and began talking on his radio (may to verify something, I didn’t pay attention to what he was saying.). It was the actions of the first officer that astounded me. He immediately put his hand on his gun and when the gentlemen said, raising his arms, “I am an American Citizen and I am unarmed, you don’t have to shoot me.” The officer replied. “You wouldn’t be the first.”. I was appalled. A Florida Sheriff would attempt to intimidate an unarmed American Citizen by claiming that they have shot unarmed civilians before.

  • franki

    Abe — so, hows that email relationship with the known terrorist going for ya?

    • Tufo

      With a name like Franki, I wouldn’t act so tough. I would like to see you say that in Abe’s face though.

    • disgusted with humanity

      you know, most people who imply others are gay are usually in the closet themselves. you know nothing of the world and how to be a human. i hope you learn your lesson soon child.

  • bigbrotherdavesmiles

    I do believe the christian groups do use thier religion for terriost activities, all the abortion clinics burned or doctors killed due to religious views

  • Disgusted Jane

    The FBI has gone Rogue! Warrantless searches and tracking, framing people because it is easier then finding the real criminals, extortion/blackmail. Sounds like Domestic Terrorism and Criminal Organization to me. Congress should do some FBI house cleaning.

  • joe

    if this guy is such a patriot,why didnt he go undercover for his country?just sayin.

    • cog

      i agree

    • Tofu

      He served his country, he’s a MARINE! What have you done? He didn’t do anything wrong, why should he be on the list or take any deals? Would you?…then you are weak with no principles.

    • MadcityColleen

      Not everyone is comfortable with being a sneak. Just sayin.

    • natalie

      because he doesn’t have to. He already willingly put his life on the line when he served as a Marine. Peace time or war time when you serve you do so knowing you COULD be sent anywhere and risk your life. The fact that he doesn’t want to go undercover, risk his life or his families much less do so unpaid and unprotected doesn’t make him less American.

    • Morgan S.

      You might want to read up on Russia and East Germany’s use of citizen spys as informants. Do you really want a US citizen spying on other citizens in their places of worship? Are you ready to have informants in YOUR place of worship?

  • natalie

    Abe Mashal as a US Marine you are by definition my brother and I’m both sorry and embarrassed by how you have been treated. You have done more than most to prove your love and commitment to this country. There is no need for you to serve your country as an “informant” to further prove any sort of loyalty.

    I hope this gets resolved soon, and that you can go back to living your life with the freedom you deserve and helped to protect.

    Semper Fidelis!

    Natalie Firato
    another US Marine

  • disgusted with humanity

    i am sickened to be an american. you all make me want to die. americans are the bottom of the dung heap. i cant wait for this country to blow the hell up.

    • John

      then get out of our country

  • Tare

    Mashal’s contact with the Iman was a stupid waste of his time. He should have known that Islam doesn’t allow mixed marriages. By Islamic law his punishment is death by suicide bombing, but first he has to kill his slave wife and any infidel children that they might have had. No one ever accused a jarhead of being intelligent!

  • crabman

    your being watched now

  • Poll

    Mashal says he has never had any links to terror or terrorists and is a “patriotic.” He was offered a deal – he’d get off the list if he became an undercover informant at mosques. He refused…

    Now, thats funny!

  • Linda

    Here’s my question – Is there a published list of people with suspected terrorist ties for someone to check before sending an innocent e-mail? How was Abe supposed to know that he was asking the wrong religious leader a simple question about raising kids in a multi-cultural household?

    By the way, thank you for serving our country Abe. If it weren’t for people like you, we wouldn’t even have the luxury of debating this issue. I applaud your decision not to take the deal.

  • kp

    This is horrible. The man served our country. Our gov’t better fix this because Abe M doesn’t deserve this.

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