The U.S. Air Force veteran who alleged in a lawsuit that his inclusion on the no-fly list had left him unjustly detained in Turkey was allowed to fly back to the United States on Wednesday, his attorney said.
Saadiq Long, 46, an Oklahoma-born Muslim American who considers Qatar his home, arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport with his family Wednesday, said his attorney, Gadeir Abbas. Abbas said Long was issued a one-time waiver to travel, and his lawsuit, which alleges that the no-fly list is broadly unconstitutional, remains ongoing. He alleged that Long was questioned by customs officials for several hours.
Long intends to return soon to Oklahoma, Abbas said.
According to his lawsuit, Long and his family were detained by Turkish authorities last year because the United States had put him on the no-fly list and his passport was flagged. His suit alleged that left him essentially stranded in Turkey, and his plight demonstrated that the no-fly list was unconstitutional.
A federal district judge in Alexandria last month rejected Long’s bid to have his name immediately removed from the no-fly list but said he could sue on a normal schedule to produce the same result. He conceded then that the U.S. government was willing to issue a one-time travel waiver but said he feared that might leave him unable to later fly out of the country on a plane.