A former employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency filed a discrimination suit against the agency this week, alleging that his security clearance was revoked because of his wife’s ties to a Muslim charity.
Mahmoud Hegab filed his suit in District Court in Alexandria, VA, claiming that in November he lost his security clearance at the NGA at Fort Belvoir, where he worked as a budget analyst, shortly after he got married.
He was allegedly told by NGA officials that it was because of concerns related to his new wife’s schooling at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Virginia, and her job at the charity Islamic Relief USA, the Associated Press reports.
From the AP:
Also identified as cause for concern was his wife’s participation in a 2003 anti-war rally in Washington sponsored by the ANSWER coalition, a left-wing group that has worked in conjunction with Palestinian activists at times. NGA also cited her time at George Mason University, when she served as president of a student group called Students for Justice in Palestine.
In his suit, Hegab described how the ISA had provided Arabic training to the NGA , and that Islamic Relief USA had previously partnered with a number of other government agencies.
Islamic Relief USA said in a statement: “We are not a party to this lawsuit and therefore cannot comment on the merits of this particular case. However, we have not received any complaints from any of our organization’s employees about discrimination when it comes to obtaining security clearances. In fact, because of the nature of our work, we do work closely with many federal and local agencies on a regular basis and anti-Muslim discrimination has not been a concern.”