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US citizen on no-fly list detained after cruise

12 September 2011 General 8 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
By Michael Migliore/AP

By Michael Migliore/AP

McLEAN, Va. –  An Oregon man who traveled to England by boat because of his apparent placement on the no-fly list was detained Monday upon his arrival in Great Britain, according to his family and lawyer.

Michael Migliore, a 23-year-old Muslim convert and dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy, had been trying unsuccessfully for months to fly to Italy to live with his mother.

Migliore says he was told earlier this year that he is on the no-fly list, though U.S. officials refuse to confirm it publicly. He believes he is on the list because he refused to be interviewed without a lawyer by FBI agents after an acquaintance was charged last year in a plot to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.

He ended up traveling by Amtrak from Portland to New York, where he took a trans-Atlantic cruise that arrived in England Monday. The trip took more than a week.

Upon arrival, though, he was apparently detained by British authorities.

His mother, Claudia Pasquale, said her son stopped answering his cell phone in the morning, and she later received a call from a British detective who told her that Migliore had been arrested.

“Right now he’s being held for I-don’t-know-what,” his mother said, describing herself as “panicky” upon learning of her son’s detention.

Gadeir Abbas, Migliore’s lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, had challenged Migliore’s placement on the no-fly list, saying he had been denied due process. Abbas was writing letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and FBI Director Robert Mueller seeking Migliore’s removal from the list.

“We don’t know where he is,” Abbas said in a phone interview. Because of his placement on the list, Migliore “was forced to travel like he was living in the 19th century. What was waiting for him on the other side of the Atlantic was more oppression.”

Abbas said he is trying to contact British authorities to see if Migliore is being held at U.S. behest.

CAIR officials said they have dealt with many cases in recent years of American Muslims wrongly barred from international travel by a government bureaucracy that operates in secrecy with little or no accountability.

U.S. officials routinely refuse to confirm whether somebody is on a no-fly list. In court cases where the constitutionality of the no-fly list has been challenged, government lawyers say there is an administrative process available for people who are wrongly placed on the list. More broadly, they say placement on the no-fly list does not infringe on citizens’ rights because there is no constitutional right to take an airplane.

In the past, U.S officials have said that fewer than 200 U.S. residents are on the no-fly list, though significantly larger numbers are on a broader watchlist that could result in additional screening procedures.

A spokeswoman with the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday. British police in Southampton, where Migliore was detained, could not immediately comment Monday evening.

Abbas and Migliore’s mother both say that Migliore’s journey across the country and the Atlantic demonstrates the folly of the no-fly list. While citizens are severely inconvenienced by the inability to fly, little is done to improve national security because, theoretically, a terrorist could just as easily target a train or a cruise ship.

Pasquale, though, is adamant that her son is not a terrorist and does not want to harm anybody. While she is Catholic, her son’s decision to convert to Islam at age 18 coincided with his maturation as a young man, she said. She doubted that he would have graduated from college if not for his conversion.

Migliore is planning to live with his mother and find a job, with the goal of living in Italy permanently.

“He was finished in the States. If you think he’s such an undesirable person, let him go,” she said.


Associated Press writer Sylvia Hui contributed to this report from London.

Original post: US citizen on no-fly list detained after cruise


  1. He didn’t even fly.

    Not fair.

    Sigh. Oh America…Oh say can you see….by the dawn’s early light….

  2. Pretty disgusting to say the least. Shameful, very shameful.

  3. What so proudly we hailed…at the twilight’s last gleaming

    whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight….

    God bless America. -_- and it’s wonderfully biased government

  4. Allah Akbar and may god be with this young man and his mother. Where is our government and where is the democracy we preach to the rest of the world.

  5. This quote was from a previous article which makes what is happening very scary indeed:

    “Neither Plaintiff nor any other American citizen has either a right to international travel or a right to travel by airplane,” government lawyers wrote in their defense against a lawsuit by another of Abbas’ clients. The teenager from Virginia had found himself stuck in Kuwait after suspicions about has travel to Somalia apparently landed him on the no-fly list.

    Though I realize the need for safety apparently our government is arguing that no one has a right to travel. According to our government driving is a privilege, we have no right to travel by airplane, Hitchhiking in most places is illegal, we now have a boy arrested after he took a boat because he could not fly. If we’re not careful we will have to get passes to move from one town to another. I think we need to be a little less safe and retain our ability and right to travel freely within our country and to visit other countries. China used to forbid its citizens from traveling, it seems to me that the United States is reserving the same right but is being magnanimous in allowing people to travel at all. I agree with the people being slighted in these cases. The no fly process should be more open and the reasons made public. This accusing people in private and sanctioning the accused is not constitutional and the people developing these rules are breaking their vows to uphold our constitution and simply seizing power for themselves and the agencies they work with. We all suffer when our leadership acts in ways that is unethical and self serving while proclaiming it is for the public good.

  6. “Allah Akbar”
    Where have I heard these words before? Hmmmmmm, interesting.

  7. Allahu akbar means God is greater.

    You’ve heard this before because it is a truth etched into every human’s soul whether or not you want to deny it.

    Judging by previous posts, though, you are referring to sucidal very clearly mentally derranged individuals who shout it trying to conceal from God and from themselves the evil of their deeds.

    Allahu akbar.

  8. That’s right, moonbats.

    God is greater, Allahu Akbar

    Allah means God, and akbar means bigger, greater. Look it up, its the truth.

    Alhmadulilah, Praise be to God

    Alhamd is praise, lillah means to God

    Are you getting this? if not, look up the words on google translate.

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