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Muslim US Air Force veteran barred from flight

Posted by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM
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1 mom liked this

Muslim US Air Force veteran barred from flight

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Muslim U.S. Air Force veteran, who had trouble entering the country last year to visit his ailing mother, was barred Wednesday from boarding a flight in Oklahoma City to return to his home in Qatar.

Saadiq Long, an American citizen, told The Associated Press he attempted to board a Delta flight at Will Rogers World Airport but was denied a boarding pass.

"I think about three police officers arrived after that," Long said. "It was very, very strange, by the way, and very intimidating."

Lt. Jay Barnett, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department reached after business hours, couldn't confirm that police were sent to the scene, but said officers assigned to the airport would be summoned for a security concern.

After the police encounter, a U.S. Transportation Security Administration agent told Long he couldn't board a plane but did not give him a specific reason, Long said.

Adam Soltani, director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who had joined Long for his departure, said they asked, "Well, who do we contact?" They then were referred to the FBI, Soltani said.

Long said his lawyer has attempted to reach the FBI, which maintains a no-fly list.

FBI spokesman Rick Rains in Oklahoma City declined comment when reached by the AP. And Delta Air Lines did not return a call for comment.

TSA spokesman David Castelveter said: "It's my understanding this individual was denied a boarding pass by the airline because he was on a no-fly list. The TSA does not confirm whether someone is or is not on the no-fly list, as that list is maintained by the FBI."

Long said he had been visiting his mother, who suffers from congestive heart failure, for several months. He was attempting to return to Qatar, where he lives with his wife and children and teaches English. He intended to travel via Amsterdam.

Long said last year he also had difficulty entering the country and that the FBI harassed him and his sister after his arrival. The harassment stopped after Long requested a Department of Justice inquiry, Soltani said.

Long's lawyer, Gadeir Abbas, sent a letter to the FBI in January informing an agent of Long's plans to return home.

"Mr. Long requests that he be accorded the same right given to millions of American citizen travelers every day: the right to board a plane," Abbas wrote. "It is Mr. Long's sincere hope that, by informing the FBI in advance of his departure from the U.S., he will avoid the travel difficulties that have caused his family so much hardship already."

Long said he plans to stay in Oklahoma City until the FBI instructs him on what he can do to fly. He said he needs to get back soon to support his family.

"Two months and they still can't tell me why I can't fly," he said. "Of course, I'm willing to go through whatever it takes."

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Citygirlk
by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I wonder why this keeps happening to him.

sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:42 AM

 he's Muslim, and where he is traveling from they assume he's a terrorist

Quoting Citygirlk:

I wonder why this keeps happening to him.


jaxTheMomm
by Gold Member on Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM

He's got a long road ahead of him when it comes to the no-fly list.  His name may match someone else's, or he was put on mistakenly.

My fiance's name (it's a Gaelic name) is on it too - we had a friend in the TSA finally check into it for us.  Two other men with the same name, but much older, are on it.  So he couldn't board get his boarding pass without the airline agent having to get on the phone with someone to verify that he wasn't either of those men, for about a year. 

We aren't sure why, but it just simply stopped happening.

jcrew6
by Jenney on Feb. 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

The TSA doesn't get into the details of the list because it is maintained by the FBI.  More bureaucracy.  more departments.  No matter who is in control, growing the size of government via more departments? Doesn't make for a more accountable and responsible organization, IMO.  . 

jcrew6
by Jenney on Feb. 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM
1 mom liked this


Is this the conclusion based on the FBI or your opinion? 

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 he's Muslim, and where he is traveling from they assume he's a terrorist

Quoting Citygirlk:

I wonder why this keeps happening to him.




jcrew6
by Jenney on Feb. 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

My nephew experienced a similar occurrence.  His name matched up with someone else. 

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

He's got a long road ahead of him when it comes to the no-fly list.  His name may match someone else's, or he was put on mistakenly.

My fiance's name (it's a Gaelic name) is on it too - we had a friend in the TSA finally check into it for us.  Two other men with the same name, but much older, are on it.  So he couldn't board get his boarding pass without the airline agent having to get on the phone with someone to verify that he wasn't either of those men, for about a year. 

We aren't sure why, but it just simply stopped happening.



batmansgirl
by Member on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM
1 mom liked this

This:

Quoting jcrew6:


Is this the conclusion based on the FBI or your opinion? 

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 he's Muslim, and where he is traveling from they assume he's a terrorist

Quoting Citygirlk:

I wonder why this keeps happening to him.





jcrew6
by Jenney on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM
1 mom liked this


The OP has a habit of assuming her opinion is fact. So, IMO, we need to asks for clarification before she gets carried away.  

Quoting batmansgirl:

This:

Quoting jcrew6:


Is this the conclusion based on the FBI or your opinion? 

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 he's Muslim, and where he is traveling from they assume he's a terrorist

Quoting Citygirlk:

I wonder why this keeps happening to him.







Susan0805
by Member on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM
1 mom liked this
There MUST be more to this story, or some misunderstanding...
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Feb. 17, 2013 at 1:54 PM

This is a heartbreaking, unfortunate situation. Which unfortunately has happened to others in error as well. Even active military. Unfortunately, with all human intelligence, there is always a chance of human error. And the list most definitely need to be cleaned up.

There have been many people stopped from flying, who were said to be on the no-fly list:

False positives and abuses that have been in the news include:

  • Numerous children (including many under the age of five, and some under the age of one) have generated false positives.[30][31][32]
  • Daniel Brown, a United States Marine returning from Iraq, was prevented from boarding a flight home in April 2006 because his name matched one on the No Fly List.[33]
  • David Fathi, an attorney for the ACLU of Iranian descent and a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit.[34]
  • Asif Iqbal, a management consultant and legal resident of the United States born in Pakistan, plans to sue the U.S. government because he is regularly detained when he tries to fly, because he has the same name as a former Guantanamo detainee.[9][35] Iqbal's work requires a lot of travel, and, even though the Guantanamo detainee has been released, his name remains on the No Fly List, and Iqbal the software consultant experiences frequent, unpredictable delays and missed flights.[36] He is pushing for a photo ID and birthdate matching system, in addition to the current system of checking names.[37]
  • Robert J. Johnson, a surgeon and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, was told in 2006 that he was on the list, although he had had no problem in flying the month before.  Later, a 60 Minutes report brought together 12 men named Robert Johnson, all of whom had experienced problems in airports with being pulled aside and interrogated. The report suggested that the individual whose name was intended to be on the list was most likely the Robert Johnson who had been convicted of plotting to bomb a movie theater and a Hindu temple in Toronto.[12]
  • In August 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) told a Senate Judiciary Committee discussing the No Fly List that he had appeared on the list and had been repeatedly delayed at airports. He said it had taken him three weeks of appeals directly to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to have him removed from the list. Kennedy said he was eventually told that the name "T Kennedy" was added to the list because it was once used as an alias of a suspected terrorist. There are an estimated 7,000 American men whose legal names correspond to "T Kennedy". (Senator Kennedy, whose first name was Edward and for whom "Ted" was only a nickname, would not have been one of them.) Recognizing that as a U.S. Senator he was in a privileged position of being able to contact Ridge, Kennedy said of "ordinary citizens": "How are they going to be able to get to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?"[39] Former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani pointed to this incident as an example for the necessity to "rethink aviation security" in an essay on homeland security published while he was seeking the Republican nomination for the 2008 presidential election.[40]
  • U.S. Representative, former Freedom Rider, and Chairman of SNCC John Lewis (politician) (D-GA) has been stopped many times.[41]
  • Canadian journalist Patrick Martin has been frequently interrogated while traveling, because of a suspicious individual with the same name.[42]
  • David Nelson, the actor best known for his role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, is among various persons named David Nelson who have been stopped at airports because their name apparently appears on the list.[44][45]
  • Jesselyn Radack, a former United States Department of Justice ethics adviser who argued that John Walker Lindh was entitled to an attorney, was placed on the No Fly List as part of what she [46] believes to be a reprisal for her whistle-blowing.
  • In September 2004, former pop singer Cat Stevens (who converted to Islam and changed his name to "Yusuf Islam" in 1978) was denied entry into the U.S. after his name was found on the list.[47]
  • In February 2006, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) stated in a committee hearing that his wife Catherine had been subjected to questioning at an airport as to whether she was Cat Stevens due to the similarity of their names.[44][48]
  • U.S. Representative Don Young (R-AK), the third-most senior Republican in the House, was flagged in 2004 after he was mistaken for a "Donald Lee Young".[49]
  • Some members of the Federal Air Marshal Service have been denied boarding on flights that they were assigned to protect because their names matched those of persons on the no-fly list.[50]
  • Until July 2008, Nelson Mandela and other members of the African National Congress were on the list, something that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called "rather embarrassing".[51] On July 5, 2008, the U.S. removed Mandela and the ANC from the list.[52]
  • In August 2008, CNN reported that an airline captain and retired brigadier general for the United States Air Force has had numerous encounters with security officials when attempting to pilot his own plane.[53]
  • After frequent harassment at airport terminals, a Canadian businessman changed his name to avoid being delayed every time he took a flight.[54]
  • In April 2009, TSA refused to allow an Air France flight from Paris to Mexico to cross U.S. airspace because it was carrying Colombian journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina. Air France did not send the passenger manifest to the US authorities, they did however send it to Mexico who forwarded it to the US.[2]
  • Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was held for extensive questioning by US Immigration and Customs officials in August 2009, because as he reported, "his name came up on a computer alert list." Customs officials claimed he "was questioned as part of a routine process that took 66 minutes." Khan was visiting the United States to promote his film My Name Is Khan, which concerns racial profiling of Muslims in the United States.[56]
  • In June 2010, The New York Times reported Yahya Wehelie, a 26 year-old Muslim-American man was being prevented from returning to the United States, and trapped in Cairo. Despite Wehelie's offer to FBI agents to allow them to accompany him in the plane, while shackled, he was not permitted to return. The ACLU has argued that this constitutes banishment.[57]
  • A U.S. citizen, stranded in Colombia after being placed on the no-fly list as a result of having studied in Yemen, sought to re-enter the U.S. through Mexico but was returned to Colombia by Mexican authorities.[57]
  • Michael Migliore, a 23-year-old Muslim convert and dual citizen of the United States and Italy, was detained in the United Kingdom after traveling there from the U.S. by train and then cruise ship because he was not permitted to fly. He said that he believes he was placed on the no-fly list because he refused to answer questions about a 2010 Portland car bomb plot without his lawyer present.[58] He was released eight or ten hours later, but authorities confiscated his electronic media items including a cell phone and media player.[59]
  • Abe Mashal, a 31-year-old Muslim and United States Marine Veteran, found himself on the No Fly List in April 2010 while attempting to board a plane out of Midway Airport. He was questioned by the TSA, FBI and Chicago Police at the airport and was told they had no clue why he was on the No Fly List. Once he arrived at home that day two other FBI agents came to his home and used a Do Not Fly question-and-answer sheet to question him. They informed him they had no idea why he was on the No Fly List. In June 2010 those same two FBI agents summoned Mashal to a local hotel and invited him to a private room. They told him that he was in no trouble and the reason he ended up on the No Fly List was because of possibly sending emails to an American imam they may have been monitoring. They then informed him that if he would go undercover at various local mosques, they could get him off the No Fly List immediately and he would be compensated for such actions. Mashal refused to answer any additional questions without a lawyer present and was told to leave the hotel. Mashal then contacted the ACLU and is now being represented in a class-action lawsuit filed against the TSA, FBI and DHS concerning the legality of the No Fly List and how people end up on it. Mashal feels as if he was blackmailed into becoming an informant by being placed on the No Fly List. Mashal has since appeared on ABC, NBC, PBS and Al Jazeera concerning his inclusion on the No Fly List. He has also written a book about his experience titled "No Spy No Fly."

And, the Obama administration has greatly lowered the bar to be placed on the no-fly list - resulting in a doubling of the list - from 10,000 names in Feb. 2011 to 21,000 in Feb. 2012. 

I think CAIR has probably caused this man more trouble than if they had not been involved. They are known for frivolous lawsuits, intentional disruption of public meetings, intentional harrassment of government officials and even the "Flying Imam" stunt, which terrified passengers, crew, and airlines alike. And for having ties to terrorist organizations. Not exactly an untarnished ally.


http://news.yahoo.com/ap-exclusive-us-no-fly-list-doubles-1-072556788.html

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