On September seventh, 2004, Zuhair Mahmoud applied for US citizenship with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Zuhair passed all required background checks and was interviewed on December 10, 2004, where he passed his English language and Civics exams. Instead of approving his application, Zuhair was told that he needed to wait for his “Name Check” from the FBI to be completed.
In January of 2005, Zuhair was approached by two FBI agents who wanted to recruit him as an informant. When he declined, his application was stalled under the pretext of the “Name Check”, in contravention of section 1447(b) of the United States Code, which obligates the US Government to make a final decision on a naturalization application no later than 120 days from the date of a citizenship interview.