Journalists Sue Trump Over Inclusion on 'Kill List'

Two journalists have sued President Donald Trump saying they are on the “Kill List”—an “illegal death sentence” that violates their constitutional rights and impedes their professional work, the lawsuit charges.

The plaintiffs are 46-year-old Bilal Abdul Kareem, a U.S. citizen and freelance journalist who reports on the ongoing conflict in Syria. The other, 54-year-old Ahmed Zaidan, is a senior journalist with Al Jazeera and is a Syrian and Pakistani citizen. In 1998 Zaidan was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden, and his work has been featured on CNN and PBS‘s “Frontline.”

The lawsuit (pdf) filed Thursday by human rights organization Reprieve and the Washington, D.C. law firm Lewis Baach in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. argues: “Plaintiffs’ inclusion on the Kill List is the result of arbitrary and capricious agency action, accomplished without due process, and in violation of the United States Constitution and U.S. and international law.”

Their designation on the list, the suit argues, was due to the fact that their “travel, communications, social media content and contacts, related data, and metadata have been input into ‘algorithms’ used by the United States to identify terrorists.”

And though the two journalists were put on list by President Barack Obama, that list has been inherited by Trump, who “has continued to include them on the Kill List and has, in addition, removed certain restrictions and criteria previously employed in the designation of persons to be included on the Kill List.”

But the two have no connections to the September 11 terror attacks, have no association with Al Qaeda or the Taliban, and pose no threat, immediate or otherwise, to the United States, the suit says.

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