KXTV Channel 10 files federal suit claiming FOIA violations on information of alleged ISIS member

Omar Abdulsattar Ameen. | 

In an effort to gain access to government files, KXTV Channel 10 news in Sacramento has a filed a lawsuit alleging a violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday, March 7, 2019, in U.S. District Court in Sacramento and seeks relieve for what it claims is a violation of FOIA by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is a part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. 

The case involves an FOIA submitted by Channel 10 that their request was not fulfilled. Channel 10 was seeking documents regarding Omar Abdulsattar Ameen who was arrested last August on charges that he was a member of ISIS. 

According to a story filed by KXTV, Ameen was arrested for allegedly being a member of ISIS and gaining entry into the U.S. by falsifying information on his refugee application. Ameen reportedly lied about the circumstance surrounding the death of his father, and the capture of his brother.

Ameen is accused of being ISIS/Al-Queda since 2004 and a variety of terrorist acts including at least one murder. Ameen is currently in custody at the Sacramento County Jail on a federal hold for extradition to Iraq.   

In their complaint, KXTV seeks "to learn information that may shed light on why Ameen was allowed into the United States and what, if anything, USCIS did to verify information that Ameen provided including whether the USCIS followed procedures when it approved Ameen's application for refugee status, authorizing his presence in the country."

KXTV made eight specific requests regarding documentation for Ameen's application that permitted him to enter the country. In their denial, the government said that the request failed to demonstrate the documents were in the public interest. 

In their filing, KXTV noted the U.S. has spent over $4.8 trillion on the so-called war on terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. Furthermore, the complaint says "the withheld records sought by ABC10 will inform ABC10's viewership and the public how Ameen came to reside in Sacramento in spite of extraordinary effort the federal government has devoted to fight and defeat ISIS."

Representing KXTV is Thomas R. Burke and Monder Khourty of San Francisco-based Davis Wright Tremaine.


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