It's been four long months since Saadiq Long has been able to call himself a free man. After being held in Turkey, he, his wife and his daughter are back in Oklahoma.
The Longs had all been held in Turkey while trying to cross into Syria to explore work options, according to a lawsuit Long filed against the U.S. government. They were detained when Saadiq's name appeared on the American no-fly list that is disseminated to U.S. allies, according to Long’s Lawyer Gadeir Abbas.
Once released, the Longs flew to New York on a government waiver, Abbas said, only to be held up again by the no-fly list and last week's mega blizzard before returning to Oklahoma. Abbas said they were under surveillance the whole time.
“The U.S. government has continued its reprehensible behavior in this situation. We're really thankful and the family is really thankful that everyone is safe and sound in Oklahoma City,” Abbas said.
Long is originally from Macalester. Both he and his lawyer are gearing up for a fight against the United States, naming U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey.
The suit charges that the no-fly list, a list that's filled with millions of American names, is unconstitutional. Long filed the suit in a federal court in Alexandria in December of last year.
“Make no mistake about it, what Saadiq is trying to do with his case in his court case is to end the era of the no-fly list with regards to American citizens,” Abbas said.
This isn’t Long's first battle with U.S. national security he fought the list after a visit home in 2012. This time he's fighting again, but the outcome could be much bigger. Abbas said the case could establish a new precedent, possibly taking them all the way to the Supreme Court
“It's the case that the constitution forbids the U.S. government from keeping these secret black lists that ruin people's lives,” he said.