Air Force veteran suing after he was accused of being associated with ISIS


Sadiq Long
U.S. Air Force veteran Sadiq Long

After being held in a Turkish deportation center and having his reputation smeared, a 10 -year veteran of the U.S. Air Force has filed a lawsuit.

Saadiq Long, 46, an Oklahoma-born Muslim American was able to return to the United States after he was detained with his family last year, in Turkey.

According to his suit, he alleged he and his family have been stranded in Turkey and not allowed to travel anywhere due to the U.S. no-fly list issue. During the detention his passport was also taken. A report by The Intercept claimed the entire detention was a sham according to government officials.

In spite of his inclusion on the no-fly list, Long and his family were granted permission to fly back to the United Sates, and arrived in New York, at JFK Airport, on Wednesday.

Prior to their arrival, Long and his family were being held in a deportation center in Turkey. It was only after the Turkish government claimed Long intended to stay in the country without the proper visa, that they began their own investigation, and found him on the no-fly list, according to the report.

Although he was never charged with any crime and no associations have been found between the American born man and ISIS, he has been dealing with the long term ramifications of his story.

According to Long he was secretly placed on the list in 2012.  After the notoriously anti-Muslim Internet news provider Pajama Media saw his inclusion on the no-fly list, they took the opportunity to publicize the story as part of their Anti-Muslim content. Recently, the reporter of the news story, Patrick Poole, after being asked to recant his story, insisted that he told the truth and would not take the story down. “It was well researched”, he claimed in the article on the company’s website.

Last month, a federal judge rejected Long’s request in his lawsuit filed in federal court, asking to be removed from the no-fly list immediately, according to a report by Scribd.

He was issued this one-time travel waiver and now fears he will not be able to leave the United States again, in order to return home.

In his statement to The Intercept, Long’s lawyer contends, that his being allowed “back into the U.S. further demonstrates that the December report that he was arrested as an ISIS fighter was a complete fabrication. The U.S. government does not work to secure the release of ISIS fighters, and he added, “they gave the family waivers from the no-fly list, and then allow them to waltz back into the U.S. and be free on American soil is proof that he is not a risk to American safety and Homeland Security’.

“Saadiq and his family’s return to the United States confirms, if there was still any doubt, that Turkey does not believe them to be ISIS operatives,” Gadeir Abbas, Long’s lawyer, said.

According to the article, Long is still not able to fly openly and at will even though he has been vindicated. He continues to be on the no-fly list and is unable to fly from New York back to Oklahoma to see his terminally-ill mother; the only reason for his return to the United States. His attorney points out the ‘absurdity that he is allowed to walk freely in crowded malls, or use crowded public transportation, but he is still not permitted to fly, due to the no-fly list’.

There is no information as to Long’s removal from the list. The lawsuit is still active in the Federal court and is awaiting calendar.

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