An attorney for a western Pennsylvania Egyptian scientist whose top security clearance was revoked by the Department of Energy says he deserves to know why.

Moniem El-Ganayni, formerly of Pittsburgh, had worked in Bettis Laboratories, which makes parts for nuclear warships since 1990, but was ruled a security risk in 2007 and fired. He is now living in Egypt.

El-Ganayni is appealing a federal judge's dismissal of his lawsuit against the energy department. A three-judge panel from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

An energy department attorney says granting security clearances is a discretionary decision and the court doesn't have the authority to review the decision.