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After no-fly problem, passenger walks into U.S.

11 June 2012 General 20 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

SAN YSIDRO — An American-born Muslim student who was prevented from flying to San Diego from Costa Rica after being told his name was on the U.S. government no-fly list returned home Thursday evening after flying to Mexico and then walking across the pedestrian border crossing to his waiting family.

Kevin Iraniha, 27, was met by his father, Nasser, brothers Jahan and Shervin, and several representatives from the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, including executive director Hanif Mohebi.

The council came to Iraniha’s aid this week after a friend referred the family to the organization, Mohebi said.

Iraniha left Costa Rica on Thursday morning and flew to Mexico City and then to Tijuana.

As he arrived across the border, he appeared tired but relieved. He was upbeat as he hugged his family.

“I’m happy to be here finally in my own hometown,” he said. “This is very disappointing to happen to anybody.”

Iraniha was born and raised in San Diego and is a San Diego State University graduate.

He graduated this week from a yearlong master’s program in international law at the University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica. His father and brothers went to his graduation.

When they all went to the airport on Tuesday to return to San Diego, Iraniha was told he could not get a boarding pass for the flight. He was later told his name was on the no-fly list.

He said he was questioned by an FBI agent about recent travels to Iran, and about trips to India and Egypt.

He said Thursday night that he had flown home in December for winter break, spending several weeks in San Diego, and had no problems.

Iraniha is a self-described peace activist. He said he was disappointed to be treated in a skeptical way that people in other countries “are really fighting” against.

Mohebi was asked if Iraniha planned legal action. He deflected the question by saying the priority now is for Iraniha to spend time with family.

The government has so far not offered compensation for costs incurred by Iraniha, Mohebi said.

Nasser Iraniha said he just wants to know why his son’s name was put on the list, something his son has not been told.

“None of this makes sense,” he said.

“Whoever did this is not American,” the father said.

The U.S. Privacy Act prohibits the FBI from discussing who may or may not be on the no-fly list, which was started after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Because of the privacy law, the agency will not discuss specifics or what is or is not an investigation.

The list is overseen by the Terrorist Screening Center. In addition to the FBI, other law enforcement agencies make referrals to place individuals on the list.

Staff writer Aaron Burgin contributed to this report. ashly.mcglone@utsandiego.com (619) 293-1725 Twitter@AshlyReports

Original post: After no-fly problem, passenger walks into U.S.

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20 Comments »

  1. good for him. simple solution to a complicated problem. too bad we have such a list. the more power we give to the government the worst of we are.

    “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” ben

  2. Americans are morons , the rest of the world knew it and now they are starting to see it.

  3. racist ppl

  4. Ahmed Mohamed,

    “Americans are morons ,” another insightful comment made from your computer, using electricity, on the internet, via facebook. we morons have come up some very advanced and intelligent thigs. your funny. do you know the definitin of a moron?

    IQ Range Classification
    70-80 Borderline deficiency
    50-69 Moron
    20-49 Imbecile
    below 20 Idiot

    i doubt the average american iq is below 70. i doubt even the superpower nations of the muslim world would average below 70, even the ones who can’t read. what is the last muslim invention you used today.

  5. Americans made this page to combat Islamophobia, so it’s obviously not true that Americans are “morons” or “racist”. That’s way too broad of a brush to use.

  6. Perhaps Ahmed Mohamed does not have a vocabulary that extends beyond moron and racist.

  7. m bennet,

    what’s up? no ahmed uses the word douchebag quite often. as some others have as well. lol.

    did you not see my post with this ‘historical context”?

    http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/why_did_ali_burn_some_apostates___by_understanding_islam

  8. http://www.islamicperspectives.com/Apostasy1.htm

    checkout this guy’s resoning. it’s hilarious.

  9. smart move on his part, government is crazy.

  10. This goes against the first amendment right which includes freedom of religion. People go through TSA before boarding planes I think that is enough security to screen out the terrorists. Not all terrorists are Muslim just like not all Muslims are terrorists. This man is obviously traveling for schooling and maybe to visit family. There is no reason why he should be held under suspicion. I am married to an Egyptian man and currently in Egypt right now I’m sure we we’ll travel back here a lot as we have family here. I hope we never get put under such scrutiny. This really is unfortunate for this young man.
    Oh and by the way Ahmed calling an American an idiot is as much of a stereotype as calling a Muslim or Arab a terrorist. So how are you helping stop Islamophobia?

  11. Thousands of people get put on no fly lists daily. Anarchist government!

  12. Thousands of people get put on no fly lists daily. Anarchist government!

  13. mcveigh,

    don’t think you know the meaning of anarchist?

  14. no offence but… how many of muslims in the US are against Israel ?

  15. Wael – A lot of Jews are against Israel. Even Einstein was against Zionism. There are many quotes by him about it:
    “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. …the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power….I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks…”

    — Einstein speech in New York, 1938.

  16. The few Jews who have, historically, opposed the State of Israel are as rare as the few Muslims who oppose radical (read: normative) Islam. The difference is that Einstein was, in this case, on the wrong side of history, whereas the few Muslims that have the courage to oppose the cult of death that is modern Islam are are on the correct side of history. Einstein lived at a time when many Jews were worried about the libel of “dual loyalty.” If Einstein were here today her would surely support and appreciate the only democracy in the Middle East. Lastly, opposing some of Israel’s policies does not equate with being “against Israel.” However, the type of people that spew the kind of rhetoric on this page are, almost always, against Israel.

  17. seriously?? this is what it’s come to??

  18. The Americans here suffer from Islamophelia. There is no such thing as Islamophobia. The word was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood to silence honest discussion of Islam

  19. honest discussion includes sources. which none of the islamphobes (susan and co.) seem to provide.

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