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Ex-student from Jordan sues WSU for labeling him a ‘terrorist’

Wright State University is the subject of a U.S. Department of Education investigation and a lawsuit by a former graduate student from Jordan who claimed he was labeled a “terrorist” when he was wrongly accused of browsing a website for automatic weapons while on campus.

Mohammed Jaber, who presently lives in Kettering, said the staff at the school’s Raj Soin College of Business told campus police on Sept. 20, that an unnamed student reported Jaber was browsing a website for assault weapons. Jaber claims WSU staff discriminated against him because of his Arabic descent when police removed him from campus, and when the school denied his appeal to be readmitted to its graduate program. Jaber said did not use a computer to browse for weapons.

The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights is investigating both of Jaber’s claims, according to a letter he provided to the Dayton Daily News.

Jaber’s lawsuit, which also claims the school called the FBI about him, was filed in the Ohio Court of Claims on Jan. 22 and was assigned to a magistrate this week, according to his attorney, Thomas P. Liptock of Centerville. The university has 28 days to respond to the lawsuit, Liptock added.

Jaber, 31, said the ongoing struggle to be readmitted to his graduate program has been “the worst experience for me in my life.” He came to the United States in 2008 and enrolled at WSU in 2011.

“I love this country. That’s why I came here,” said Jaber, who also has siblings currently enrolled at WSU. “I’m a resident here. I pay my taxes.”

Jaber said he was removed from WSU’s information systems and operations management graduate program after he was accused of plagiarising an assignment in his final class. He said he completed an academic integrity course as required but was denied readmission to WSU.

Wright State spokesman George Heddleston said the university does not comment on pending lawsuits. The university only released a cover sheet of the campus police report from the Sept. 20 incident. The report includes three lines of information that campus police responded to “suspicious activity” and “concerns” an assistant dean’s office “had about a former graduate student.”

The university said the investigation involving Jaber has been turned over to federal law enforcement. FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren said he could not confirm or deny the existence of any potential investigation due to federal regulations.

The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights presently has three cases under investigation involving Wright State, including two allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability, according to spokesman David Thomas, who added he could not confirm or deny any specific case in light of federal privacy laws.

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