Group sues over ban on wanted terrorist bus ads in Seattle

Oct. 9, 2013 at 3:05 PM
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SEATTLE, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- An advocacy group says its free speech rights were violated when officials refused to allow it to place ads featuring wanted terrorists on Seattle-area buses.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative sued King County, Wash., this week after the county transit system refused to allow the group to re-run the ads, which had been created by the FBI and featured the faces of 16 terrorism suspects, most of whom were Muslims living outside the United States.

The ads were dropped by the FBI and the county's Metro system in June, but the AFDI sought to resurrect them. The lawsuit alleged the county simply did not like the message and was unfairly limiting free speech. said the AFDI is a sister organization of Stop Islamization of America, which has been labeled a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League. The organization led the opposition to plans to construct a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, calling the planned facility a "victory mosque" celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001. also noted Metro had refused to allow a pro-Palestinian organization to run ads on buses about "Israeli war crimes."

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