A budget analyst is suing the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), claiming his security clearance was revoked because of his wife’s employment at an Islamic charity. His wife is a program associate with Islamic Relief USA, a global nonprofit involved in international humanitarian relief efforts. Mahmoud M. Hegab filed the suit in early October 2011 seeking the restoration of his security clearance and for damages lost while being unable to work due to its revocation. It is widely believed to be the first case where a security clearance was revoked because of a spouse’s ties to Islamic organizations. The Justice Department is expected to respond to the suit in early December.
Hegab began working at NGA in January 2010. In November, after learning that his security clearance had been revoked, he was barred from NGA facilities and placed on unpaid administrative leave. Afterwards, Hegab requested the information NGA had used to make its decision to revoke his security clearance. The information he received from NGA included a statement saying, in part, that Nusairat “now works for a non-profit organization called ‘Islamic Relief’ which supports ‘humanitarian relief efforts.’” It also included a photograph of his wife “taken at an ‘anti-war occupation protest in Washington’” near the Washington monument.