Reports that a former Oklahoman was arrested in Turkey for trying to join ISIS are turning out to be false, according to U.S. sources.
Reports of Saadiq Long's arrest showed up on the internet first on conservative blogs and websites like PJ media and the Daily Caller. All claimed Long, his wife and his daughter had been arrested for trying to cross into Syria to join ISIS.
Thursday, an official at the Turkish embassy was able to confirm Long and his family were being detained in Turkey awaiting deportation after his name appeared on the Turkish no fly list. But that he had not been arrested nor charged with any crime.
A U.S. state department spokesperson said in an email, "We are aware of reports that a U.S. citizen was arrested in Turkey," and that, "The Department stands ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance."
The spokesperson from the state department was unable to give more information due to privacy concerns. But the director of CAIR-Oklahoma says the reports of Long's link to terrorist cells should raise concerns of a different kind.
“I think that the problem we have is if you're a Muslim,” CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani said. “[Muslims are] guilty until proven innocent. There's a lack of due process toward Muslims in America at times.”
Soltani says the problem lies with the placement of many Americans on the No-Fly list a placement CAIR helped Long fight in 2012. Long was stopped from entering the U.S. when trying to visit his mother in McAlester, because of his no-fly status. He was then allowed to come back to Oklahoma but was unable to leave because of status again.
CAIR represented Long in an attempt to get the federal government to show evidence of why Long was placed on the list. Long was later allowed to leave the country.
There was no information on when Long and his family would be deported from the detention center.