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."
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