US Air Force veteran, finally allowed to fly into US, is now banned from flying back home

Secret, unaccountable no-fly lists are one of many weapons the US government uses to extra-judicially punish American Muslims

OKLAHOMA CITY — 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.

But now Long – unbeknownst to him – has once again apparently been secretly placed by some unknown National Security State bureaucrat on the no-fly list. On Wednesday night, as Associated Press first reported, he went to the Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City to fly back home to Qatar. In order to ensure there were no problems, his lawyer sent the FBI a letter ahead of time notifying them that Long would be flying home on that date (see the embedded letter below).

Long’s lawyer, Adam Soltani of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was with him at the airport and repeatedly asked agents why this was happening and who they should contact. He got no answers, except was told to contact the FBI. But both the FBI and Delta refused to comment to AP, while TSA spokesman David Castelveter would only say this:

“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 and his CAIR lawyers have thus far been told nothing about why he is barred once again from flying.

Two Muslim religious leaders say they were asked to leave Delta flight in Memphis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Muslim religious leaders say they were asked to leave a commercial airliner after being cleared by security agents and boarded the plane for an 8:40 a.m. flight on Friday in Memphis. They were told it was because the pilot refused to fly with them aboard.

Masudur Rahman, who is also an adjunct instructor of Arabic at the University of Memphis, said by phone from the terminal at Memphis International Airport that he and another imam had already been allowed to board their Delta Connection flight to Charlotte, N.C., before they were asked to get off the plane.

Transportation Security Administration spokesman Jon Allen in Atlanta confirmed the incident and said it was not initiated by that agency.

Both passengers are Memphis-area residents. Rahman said he was dressed in traditional Indian clothing and his traveling companion was dressed in Arab garb, including traditional headgear.

Ibrahim Hooper, of the American-Islamic organization, said the group will follow up with the airline and with the TSA to help ensure such incidents do not continue to occur.

Hooper said airline officials at Memphis tried to resolve the situation, but the pilot refused.

CAIR and other advocacy groups join Pilots’ Unions and Flight Attendants Unions in calling new airport pat-downs invasive, humiliating

Two of the largest pilots’ unions in the nation are urging commercial pilots to rebel against current airport screening rules. In late October, the Transport Security Administration implemented more invasive patdown rules. Travelers (including Muslims) and pilots were faced with a new dilemma — have a revealing, full-body scan or what some are calling an X-rated patdown.

Last week, the head of Allied Pilots Association, a union representing 11,000 American Airlines pilots, wrote an email to pilots suggesting that they forgo both going through a full-body scanner and submitting to a public patdown. Instead, Captain Dave Bates urged pilots to opt for a private patdown.

“In my view, it is unacceptable to submit to one in public while wearing the uniform of a professional airline pilot,” Bates said in an email.

Pilots are piping mad over the options, saying the full-body scanners emit dangerous levels of radiation and that the alternative public patdown is disgraceful for a pilot in uniform. Some pilots have said they felt so violated after a patdown, they were unfit to fly.

CAIR offices have already received complaints, particularly from female travelers who wear hijab, about being subjected to the new pat-down procedure.

The enhanced pat-down involves a much more intrusive manual search of passengers’ bodies by TSA officers. Passengers who have undergone the new pat-down procedure have reported feeling humiliated by a search they describe as invasive and that has involved TSA officers touching the face and hair, the groin area and buttocks, and in between and underneath breasts.

Arab-American to advise TSA

Nawar Shora, the legal director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is going to join Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as a senior advisor in the TSA office of civil rights and liberties. Mr. Shora, 33, has been working on the issue of security abuses against minorities since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Originally from Syria, Mr. Shora is going to join the Department of Homeland Security in line with his campaign to encourage young Arab-Americans to enter the federal service and work within the system in order to “reenergize trust-building.”