COLUMBUS, Ohio – The government can’t strip a terrorist of his U.S. citizenship, a federal judge ruled this month in a decision siding with a Pakistan-born man serving the last few years of a 20-year prison sentence for his guilty plea to plotting to destroy New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, Fox News reports.
Lyman Faris, who was sentenced in 2003 for aiding and abetting al-Qaida by scoping out the bridge as part of a plot to cut through cables that support it. His case was among the first and highest-profile terrorism cases after the Sept. 11 attacks.
A 17-page filing Monday in U.S. District Court in southern Illinois where Faris is imprisoned launched a revocation process that is likely to take years. The court filing argues that Faris lied on immigration papers before becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1999 and that his terrorist affiliations demonstrated a lack of commitment to the U.S. Constitution.
The acting assistant attorney of the Justice Department’s civil division, Chad Readler, vowed in a statement about the filing to “continue to pursue denaturalization proceedings against known or suspected terrorists who procured their citizenship by fraud.” He added: “The U.S. government is dedicated to … preventing the exploitation of our nation’s immigration system by those who would do harm to our country.”
Faris, known as Mohammad Rauf before becoming a U.S. citizen and who once worked as a truck driver in Ohio, is scheduled for release from the U.S. Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois, on Dec. 23, 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Syracuse
“American citizenship is precious, and the government carries a heavy burden of proof when attempting to divest a naturalized citizen of his or her citizenship,” ~ Judge Staci Yandle
Judge Yandle was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois August 22, 2014. She earned her B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1983 and her Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1987. Judge Yandle was in private practice from 1987 until 2007 and was a solo practitioner in O’fallon, Illinois from 2007 until commissioned as a United States District Judge.
In addition to her practice of law, she served on the Illinois Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1992 to 1996, and by appointment on the Illinois Gaming Board, from 1999 to 2001. Judge Yandle has also served on the board of governors of the American Association for Justice and the St. Clair County Bar Association. She is a former president of the Metro East Bar Association. United Stated District Court
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.