Civil rights attorneys have sued the National Security Agency, claiming it illegally wiretapped conversations between the leaders of an Islamic charity that had been accused of aiding Muslim militants and two of its lawyers.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland asks that electronic surveillance by the NSA be shut down, arguing the agency illegally wiretapped electronic communications between a local chapter of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, both attorneys in Washington, D.C.
The complaint also seeks $1 million in damages for each of the plaintiffs.
It alleges the NSA did not follow procedures required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, and failed to obtain a court order authorizing electronic surveillance of the charity and its attorneys.
Dave Fidanque, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union chapter in Oregon, said the complaint is similar to other lawsuits the ACLU has filed recently.