Judge declines to immediately remove Air Force veteran from no-fly list
A federal judge on Monday rejected an effort by a U.S. Air Force veteran being held in Turkey to have his name immediately removed from the no-fly list but ruled that the Oklahoma-born Muslim American could sue on a normal schedule to try to produce the same result.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady makes the future decidedly unclear for Saadiq Long, 46, who was born in the United States but considers Qatar his home. It is possible Turkey could deport him to the United States, but after that, he could face more barriers to travel. Long has alleged that his name is on the U.S. no-fly list, and while U.S. authorities will permit him to return to the country of his birth, he is not sure that he would be allowed to leave on a plane.
In responding to Long’s lawsuit, Justice Department lawyers did not address explicitly whether Long is on the no-fly list but said he was welcome to challenge his status from wherever he might be.
Long’s suit, which alleges the no-fly list is broadly unconstitutional, comes just as U.S. politicians are debating whether to expand the list to prospective gun buyers. It demonstrates the thorny issues that surround the secretive process that supporters say prevents possible terrorists from boarding airplanes.