A couple of Brits were unceremoniously ejected from the US last week after one of them ill-advisedly tweeted he was off to "destroy America". Leigh Van Bryan, 26, and pal Emily Bunting, 24, jetted into Los Angeles last Monday ahead of what they hoped would be a lively Stateside holiday. Their shorter-than-expected trip certainly …
Interesting link. No idea that BMI was a UK government body, as you imply.
Just possible, I suppose, that it is a not very good, private airline with a frightened and prissy staff. No, I must be wrong, must be a government body run by dedicated jobsworths.
Just like Germany in the 1930s
I still remember my mother telling me about her experiences in Germany, where she spent several summer holidays in the 1930s. How weird it felt when German friends would shush her for making certain jokes, or even perfectly innocent comments, in public.
On one occasion she was walking along a street with friends, and just for fun walked with one foot on the curb and the other on the carriageway so that her gait was uneven. Her friends were utterly terrified, and told her that someone might think she was making fun of Goebbels (who limped because he had one leg shorter than the other) - in which case, even as a British citizen, she might simply disappear. (And all of them with her).
Trips to the USA are getting altogether too much like that.
"......No idea that BMI was a UK government body, as you imply....." The BMI staff were simply following the guidelines set by the BAA, which is an UK government agency. You may note (if you bothered to read all the article) that Ryan Sherwin was eventually removed by armed Police, not BMI staff themselves. I'm betting he (nor you, for that matter) doesn't try a stunt like that again, no matter how funny he thinks it was.
In the minds of the airlines, prevention is better than the cure, and the ban had just the right affect - lots of publicity saying BMI will not put up with idiots. Why do you think the airlines are so happy to make publicity statements about when passengers are restrained and kicked off flights for rowdy behaviour?
A few weeks after 9/11 I was flying Continental out of Frankfurt when the flight got delayed on the tarmac. It turned out two passengers had complained to the cabin staff that they didn't want to fly as another passenger was wearing a turban and they thought he could be a terrorist. I'm sorry to say the two passengers complaining were not Yanks but British. The local police boarded and spoke to the crew, spoke to the Sikh passenger, and to the couple complaining. In the end, after an hour's delay, the Sikh passenger was allowed to fly but the couple were kicked off the flight, much to the delight of us other passengers.
Oh excuse me, I'm terribly allergic to bullsh*t.
I think the most worrying part about this is the confirmation that the US routinely checks the Twitter accounts of potential visitors.
I suppose the next step will be for the US to have them extradited as terrorist suspects.
Just in case TPTB are listening...
My friend DAVID and his mate CAMERON say that when they go to America David IS GOING TO BLOW UP a balloon, write "hello mum" on it, and stand in front of THE STATUE OF LIBERTY so Cameron can take his photograph.
Is that the same
CAMEROON who has a mate called ALI who likes to SHOOT semi-nude fireman calendars with the OFFICERS dressed as CIVILIANS for charity?
Ooops I mis-spelt Cameron's name
Re: Blofeld's Cat
The unfetterd access that the DHS seems to have is indeed worrying.
However what concerns me is that I am sure it won't be long before someone is refused entry to the USofA because they don't say anything on Twatter, FaceBlock etc.
"Because you aren't on FB etc, we can't verify that you are a stupid SOB so we won't let you in. Goodbye".
Coat, because I won't get a chance to take mine off if I go to the USA.
> The unfetterd access that the DHS seems to have is indeed worrying.
You mean, like the rest of us, the DHS can look at facebook and twitter?
Re Anonymout Coward 15:32
You might be correct however, do you search FB & TW using data mining techniques?
I'll bet you don't.
You can be pretty well sure that the DHS (And many other parts of Uncle Sam) are searching all sorts of sites for 'information' that may or may not be useful in <redacted>
Oh well, I'm probably on a no-fly list now.
@ Steve Davies 3
> I am sure it won't be long before someone is refused entry to the USofA because they don't say anything on Twatter, FaceBlock etc.
I'm quite sure of it, too. They recently (~ 1 year ago) added an "e-mail" field in the border paperwork; although they do not strictly enforce it, I was once sent back to the back of the line to fill the field that I had left blank. The field is something like 12 char. in lenght, too, talk about stupid. I crammed my longest email addy in there (well in excess of twice the lenght of the field, so it ended up scrawled around the margin) and they let me go. 2 weeks later I had to nuke the account as it was overrun with spam (I hadn't used it in years and it was pretty much dead anyway, including no incoming traffic; not even spam anymore).
On a separate occasion I spent 10 minutes explaining to the too-stupid-to-be-mall-security guy why a 30-something like me had no cell phone (ten minutes can be a very long time in some circumstances).
Although a lot of the time it's just a matter of bad luck and personal incompetence from the very guy you're talking to, not a general conspiracy. For example I was almost denied entry once because I hadn't submitted the internet entry form 72 hrs in advance (can't remember the name). I spent ages explaining that because I have a bona fide visa I don't have to; and in fact the system probably wouldn't let me fill one. I mean that's their own guidelines. The form I have to fill is not the same as for the people who have a visa waiver. In fact it's not even the same _colour_! But no, the guy wasn't able to see the difference, and wanted to refuse me entry. I only got in because I insisted "too much" and the colleagues he called to physically remove me were a bit less thick than he was.
I must say that most of the time I go through quite easily though, even if there is a clear correlation between the way I'm dressed and shaved and the probability to go through a "random" search (well-shaven, proper shirt is good; 3-days beard, jeans, T-shirt and old denim bomber is bad). But that's security, not customs.
Search FB & TW
You mean, use Google? (There can't be any bigger data miner, not even in .secret.gov)
"Because you aren't on FB etc, we can't verify that you are a stupid SOB so we won't let you in. Goodbye".
And theres a problem with that,????????
I cant stand either of the two and should i ever be forced to venture to the USA and am refused entry i really wont give it a second thought. I shall turn round and go home safe in the knowledge i will die without ever stepping foot in the festering stain on the world that is America.
"On a separate occasion I spent 10 minutes explaining to the too-stupid-to-be-mall-security guy why a 30-something like me had no cell phone (ten minutes can be a very long time in some circumstances)."
I didn't know it was compulsory to own one.
> I didn't know it was compulsory to own one.
It's not. However there is a field for that on the immigration form; usually I just let it blank and have no trouble, but on this one occasion the guy found that suspect and insisted that I fill the field; which I could obviously not do. Hence an , er, interesting discussion.
Will you stay still for a bit!!!
It's not easy trying to target someone from one of these pilot less drones if you keep moving!
RE: @ Steve Davies 3
Maybe you were carrying one of Diaz's old bags?
What one person thinks is acceptable, "fashionable" or fun can be very insulting to others. Me, I'd stop you for the denim bomber, search you and then hand you over to Gok!
How to DDOS the DHS
What a splendid HowTo, cheers El Reg!
Now, imagine if everyone tweets the a link with the article title intact...
The Stupid - it burns!!
If this doesn't put people off visiting the US, nothing will.
Vote with your feet people - stop visiting this crazy-ass, fundamentalist, draconian, lard-ass fucktard nation, and let them wallow in their own stupidity.
Not even in transit...
I've only been to merka once, a flying visit on the way to NZ. We were supposed to be in transit (i.e. not going via passport control) but we were made to go through. My first impression of merka in the 4.5 hours I was there is horrible and unfriendly in a way that makes the UKs service industry look like shining example of eagerness to please. The food is shit, the service is shit, the people are (mostly) shit and they serve you beer in tiny tumblers for fuck sake! The police are miserable lard arses and the border guards are humourless drones.
I've been toying with repealing my decision to never go to merka for real (the above doesn't really count) as I have a cousin who lives in New York but I think I was right to avoid it. I'd rather go to Old York... a lovely place... with real beer in pint glasses.
I've been trying to think of something funny to say about "smashing in the statue of liberty's back doors" but can't... maybe I'll tweet it when it comes to me so I know for certain that I won't be able to go to the states...
The US doesn't do Transit - everyone has to go through customs+immigration.
This is a growing market for Boeing's new 7E7 because it can fly a lot of S. America and S.E. Asia to Europe direct without having to go through the US. This is a big market for a lot of S American airlines
@Arrrggghh-otron, yup, same here. Treated like third class scum, made to in and out process from a SEALED AREA, and then loaded back on the plane. (Don't you just love LAX?) They did provide drinks and toilets, but that was it. Never had to do this at Munich, Amsterdam, Sydney, Singapore, Melbourne, Auckland or Gothenburg where you get the run of the flightside airport.
If it makes you feel any better
They treat everyone like that - has nothing to do with where you're from ;)
Re beer: You're allowed to order more than one. I rather like a smaller glass (~12oz) - while I'm working on one, my next 12oz are chilling away in the keg :D
"border guards are humourless drones" and arrogant little shits to boot.
We were also herded off the plane through immigration into a holding area just so the aircraft could be re-fueled. The first person was called forward to be fingerprinted but was disabled and could not move fast enough for the aforementioned little shit's liking. He stormed off shouting that he 'didn't have to put up with this'. We didn't see him again for half an hour and the whole compliment of 747's passenger's were left just queuing. Not allowed forward, not allowed backward. No toilets, no refreshments, no chairs and no air conditioning.
The aircraft had actually finished refueling before the first passenger has been 'immigrated' and it took 4 hours to get everyone through the whole process.
Still, as long as it helps America's War on Terror. (sarcastic icon)
"If this doesn't put people off visiting the US, nothing will."
Maybe it was just that, keeping the Sun reading masses just where they belong. "No 'officer' when I said destroy America I just meant binge drinking, and other related activities."
@Yet Another Anonymous coward
You'd think the airline would have known that. We were told our stop over was a transit stop when we bought the tickets. It was only when we were an hour from LAX that they threw the little green "are you a terrorist" form at us. I enquired if we needed to fill them in as we were supposed to be in transit and was told that in that case we didn't. Cue lots of explaining at passport control...
The US doesn't do Transit - everyone has to go through customs+immigration.
That's funny, all the merkin squaddies on their way to dakka-dakka land don't have to go through customs immigration when they transit in shannon.
So don't go there. Ever.
I've probably been on a US No-Fly list for years for some of the tongue-in-cheek crap I've posted on the web. It doesn't matter, as the US is on *my* No-Fly list, at least until they stop putting paranoid schizophrenics in charge who would see a "Credible Threat to National Security" in the lyrics to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as an allusion to explosives.
America: Successfully decimating their tourism industry since 12/09/2001
Some in the US do not have a sense of humour - but they were still really stupid to say things like that.
Only 2 thoughts here.
1, these "kids" were a little misguided (i.e. completely stupid) to make these comments in a public forum. Do they not remember the guy who tweeted about blowing up the airport?
2, the security services of all countries need to take a chill pill. The comments were obviously a bad taste joke, maybe double checking them and questioning them quickly to make sure is OK, but deporting them?
To be fair, I think this just reflects what I have believed for a while: average intelligence of the world's human population is going down hill.
I believe "The sum of intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing." is apt here...
However, that the powers that be couldn't read into the intent of the tweet isn't enough to justify the removal of the alternative slang use of the word "Destroy" is it? Should we cower and second guess what the idiots will think, and force ourselves to justify everything we say?
That would be the right thing to do. But do the officials have any incentive to double check and take the "risk" of letting them in? Or do they need to cover their asses so they don't get blamed in (diminishingly unlikely) case that these guys do something stupid/illegal while in the country?
Got to fill the quotas and cover ones ass, when a bureaucrat.
It's the nature of the job
> the security services of all countries need to take a chill pill
As an American, I'll state for the record that I think the real problem is that we keep hiring _only_ the sort of person that actually wants these jobs.
I've had enough encounters in my life with cops and others of their ilk who clearly wanted the job purely because it allowed them the power trip they desired.
I'd love to see a mandatory year (or two) of 'government' service after high school with random assignments to community police, military, peace corp, TSA, DHS, park rangers, etc., (with no get out of jail free card for anyone, including the 1%ers). If we had average joes in these positions instead of psychopaths looking to get off on power trips I bet the world would be a better place.
These kids *!@%^
Bloody hell they are 26 and 24, its not like they are spotty prepubescent giggling little rug rats are they. They probably couldn't even be classified as oiky first year undergraduate students out on the waz. They are grown adults who should have at least a scintilla of common sense.
Oh bad Americans for treating the poor dears so badly for making a joke about destroying their country.
Personally I think they were luck to get a full body exam and chucked in a cell for a few nights with some Mexican friends of Buba and chucked out of the US. Actually its such a shame the septic chucked them out, cos we have to put up the amoebic brained plant life now.
"Vote with your feet people - stop visiting this crazy-ass, fundamentalist, draconian, lard-ass fucktard nation, and let them wallow in their own stupidity."
Until your kids want to go to Disneyland eh and you don't speak French / hate the French even more. You are just a xenophobe.
Not a problem at Disneyland Paris - just about everyone speaks English there even Jules Verne.
If you like roller coasters then go to Parc Astérix at Plailly instead.
Because, you know, you have to do EXACTLY what your Disney-brainwashed kids want, on their schedule and by their orders.
I don't think that the USA or Mickey Mouse has anywhere near as much to answer for as parents who can't say No.
There's Tokyo Disney, with the apparently amazing DisneySea; Hong Kong Disneyland and soon to be one in Shanghai.
I think you're a little confused to who the xenophone is AC.
Went there once as my wife wanted to see the place in Florida back in the mid seventies .
My god the hall of the future looked like Noah's workshop of poor ideas. I cannot now remember if the dust was several inches thick, (I am not sure if they had recognised the future might include vacuum cleaners) but the exhibits made the Egyptian relics in another well known museum or two look really modern.
Now I would rather sit naked in a snow storm than go to another hell hole of an airport and that is without having to encounter the US Irritation (dis)Service.
It was a typo!
They meant, we're off to destroy Amorica, in a D-Day re-enactment!
The difference between the yanks and brits is that the brits (and europeans too) generally have a healthy disgust of their government and legal and law enforcement systems where as yanks seem to idolise their president (or so it appears in "24") and "the Law" is important to them.
Yes we know about the Robin Hood aeroport tweet, but that that doesn't excuse this incident (in fact they should have learnt from it) and it certainly doesn't stop us poking fun at all those involved.
Plus, we aren't quite so pompous as to talk about "inalienable rights," "all men created equal" and "free speech" - and then qualify "all men" as only americans, and inalienable rights as "only applying in particular geographical parts of the America" and free speech as "not including jokes."
Anon, because I may need to route a flight through the US on my way to South America.
"the security services of all countries need to take a chill pill."
You miss the point - if a real terrorist believes they ARE listening it might put them off = result (although the reality could also be that a real terrorist would take extra precautions not to get rumbled).
The pair deserve a Darwin Award. I have zero sympathy - it might help them grow up a bit.
Cos all terrorists post their plans on Twitter, right?
>The pair deserve a Darwin Award
Only if they remove themselves from the gene pool, and I doubt that is the case just yet.
Exactly what sort of real terrorist would use twitter to make threats is anyones guess - as is why, if the security forces are monitoring peoples twitter feeds , they didn't ask for clarification from the poster - that could have cleared things up right away.
Still, could have been worse - if SOPA was enforced for their <i>Family Guy</i> quote they could have been emprisoned or worse...
How do you know they don't? They could be doing in coded form. And maybe, just maybe, these two idiots were two stupid to bother. We can tell the security services that keep safe and protect the rest of us not so dumb folk to 'chill'. If people only knew of the number of terrorist pltos that are stopped but never publicised they'd be calling for more stricter security and willing offering up more in taxes to fund it.
"If people only knew of the number of terrorist pltos that are stopped but never publicised they'd be calling for more stricter security and willing offering up more in taxes to fund it."
And that would be how many, exactly?
Reality? The reality is that a real, competent terrorist wouldn't be posting their plans on a social networking site. There was no Twitter back in the day but I certainly don't recall anyone ever standing in the middle of Shaftesbury Square telling people that "in 3 weeks imma plant a car bomb outside the Europa Hotel, LOL". Why in God's name would they announce it to the whole world now that the facility to do so exists?
Sure it was a stupid thing to post. You have to figure that the authorities are monitoring this stuff and have some obligation to investigate it, especially since we've had a handful of utterly incompetent attempts at actual terrorism, but it should have been pretty fucking obvious to DHS within 10 minutes of pulling them aside that the idiots weren't a credible threat to anything much besides the local booze supply.
PS you *do* know what winning a Darwin Award entails, right?
Nacht & nebel spring to mind as well...
It explains why 9/11 was such a devastating attack on amerika, if only osama bin-liner had tweeted that he was about to attack, the merkins could have done something about it.
'What worries me is how they linked the silly tweeter account to the flight ticket/person."
They know more about you than you.
Well of course they do. And I for one am glad. It takes only an little smidgen of common sense to avoid these situations. It's really simple, take security seriously, don't joke about destroying another nation or culture's beliefs. How hard is that? It's a total lack of respect that gets people into these situations.
Of two minds here.
Of course I'm appalled -- they're obviously just morons with mouths, unable to conceive the thought that what you say on the internet may as well be shouted out in public -- and what they said was as guaranteed to get a reaction as making stupid jokes about how the female passenger going through security in front of you is "da bomb". It might work in the movies, but in real life, it gets you a cavity search, with no caek -- just apple juice and narco-criminal huggies.
Banning them is overkill -- except that somebody had the thought that they'd troll the entire world, get everyone to think that DHS is watching *everywhere* by making an example out of these idiots. It's a lot more effective than hiring more pervs at the airports to feel Grandma up and swipe your iWhatever. It was fucking brilliant if you ask me. You can't even say that they *aren't* watching everywhere now, knowing full well that it was a troll.
However, the reaction of all the people here? Didn't you realize that you'd just been trolled by DHS into exposing your thoughts/prejudices/shirtiness about the US in general in a discussion group? I thought regReaders would be savvy enough to spot a troll.
U mad bro?