Makky, a 55-year-old resident of Maryland who was born in Egypt, is seeking back wages as well as the right to view a classified file that is supposed to include an explanation for the suspension, according to the lawsuit.
His lawyers say Makky was not given a reason for his suspension, which came in March 2003 on the day the Iraq war began.
"Suspending one of the government's most talented security engineers just because he's an Arab and a Muslim compromises our se curity as well as its values," Profes sor Baher Azmy of Seton Hall's law school center said in a statement. "After Sept. 11, we cannot allow petty prejudice to prevent one of our most talented citizens from doing his job to keep our airlines safe."
A TSA spokeswoman declined to discuss the litigation. A spokesman with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said "our lawyers don't have a record of a complaint" from Makky.