World News

U.S. judge rules terrorism watchlist violates constitutional rights - NY Times

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday that a federal government database of people identified as “known or suspected terrorists” violates the constitutional rights of those placed on the watchlist, the New York Times reported.

Several thousand U.S. citizens are among the more than 1 million people on the list, which can keep people off planes and block them from entering the United States. The list is maintained by the FBI’s Terrorism Screening Center.

U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in favour of 19 Muslim U.S. citizens who challenged the watchlist, the Times said.

Trenga granted them summary judgment, although he stopped short of saying what should happen next, asking the U.S. Department of Justice and the lawyers for the plaintiffs to submit briefings on that topic, the Times reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Eric Beech; editing by Grant McCool