A 29-year-old U.S. citizen and Army veteran sits in a bare apartment in a poor part of the Colombian capital, Bogota. He wants to come home, but he can't. He thinks it's because he's on the federal government's "no-fly list."
Raymond Earl Knaeble is one of an unknown number of Americans stranded overseas. They can't fly home, but no one will tell them why . . .
One man who was caught up in the same dilemma but eventually was allowed to return home is Yahye Wehelie, who lives in Virginia. He had been studying Arabic in Yemen with his brother. On the way home he was prevented from boarding a plane in Cairo. He was stuck in the Egyptian capital for six weeks, with little money.
Wehelie was finally permitted to leave Egypt on a waiver and temporary passport.
While in Cairo, Wehelie was "hanging out in a cheap hotel watching TV and periodically going to fast food restaurants in the area," said Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR helped Wehelie to return home.
According to Hooper, Wehelie's permanent passport was revoked and can only be regained if he repays a loan to the U.S. Embassy that helped cover his food and hotel costs. The State Department said the U.S. Embassy in Cairo offers assistance to anyone who asks but would not disclose details about the reported loan. Despite his experiences, Wehelie supports the "no-fly list." (More)