A Muslim U.S. Air Force veteran who was placed on the “no fly” list and wrongly called a terrorist in conservative news reports has returned to the U.S.
In 2015 , The Intercept reported that Saadiq Long had been smeared as an ISIS fighter by the right wing “Pajamas Media”. Since that time, the U.S. government has “worked to secure Long’s release from a Turkish deportation center, gave him a waiver from the no-fly list to enable him to fly back home.”
Long arrived Wednesday night at JFK airport. If Long had been an ISIS fighter, the U.S. government never would’ve worked on his behalf or given him a waiver from the no-fly list to re-enter the country.
The Intercept reports that Long being held in Turkey had nothing to do with ISIS:
As we reported, Long and his family were being held for deportation on alleged immigration violations, and a legal brief filed last December by the Justice Department in response to Long’s lawsuit demanding removal from the no-fly list also states that Long and his wife and daughter were detained because Turkish authorities “determined that the three had neither legal residence nor legal employment in Turkey.” As the DOJ itself said, once the Longs decided on their travel plans out of Turkey, “the U.S. government had reviewed the proposed travel plans and had no objection to those plans.” And the Longs did indeed leave Turkey as soon as they decided on travel plans to the U.S., which they were free to do because — obviously — neither the Americans nor the Turkish government really believe he has anything to do with ISIS.
Long has not been charged with anything relating to terrorism. Even though the story was fabricated, it was repeated by far right bloviators such as Ann Coulter and others.