SaadiqLongBy Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman

A McAlester native who twice was prevented from leaving Oklahoma to return to the Middle East has made it to Qatar.

During a telephone interview Friday, Saadiq Long, a U.S. Air Force veteran who converted to Islam, said he took a bus from Oklahoma City to Mexico, then boarded flights in three different countries to return to Qatar. …

“I didn’t have any other choice after the FBI refused to take me off the ‘no-fly’ list,” Long said. “I have my family here. I have a job here. I had to get back.” …

Friday, Long and Adam Soltani, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma City, said the thwarted attempts on the in- and outbound trips were frustrating.

“We are very happy that he made it home, but we are disappointed that the U.S. government didn’t allow him to fly and didn’t provide him with a reason,” Soltani said. “A citizen should not have to do extraordinary things to travel.”

Soltani said a CAIR attorney had recommended Long try to return to the Middle East without flying into U.S. air space. (Full article)

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