Government sources were unable to back up claims a former Oklahoman was in custody in Turkey for allegedly trying to join ISIS on Wednesday, despite several websites putting out the information.
On Tuesday, according to the conservative blog PJ Media, Long had been detained trying to cross the Syrian border allegedly to join the terror group ISIS. Later other similar reports surfaced that Long, along with his wife and daughter had been arrested.
But Thursday, no other government sources were able to confirm if any of the reports were true. The offices of several of Oklahoma’s members of Congress could not confirm the reports. A staffer of one legislator said they had been in contact with the FBI and the departments of defense and homeland security. None of which had been able to back claims of an arrest.
Officials inside the US State Department said the same thing. Officials there said they only knew of reports and could not say whether any American let alone Long had been detained.
“I don't have anything for you. As you probably know, the Privacy Act limits what we can say about American citizens,” was the response Wednesday from William Zeman, the Assistant Information Officer at the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
This isn't the first time he's been in the news. Two years ago 43-year-old Saadiq Long, formerly known as Paul Anderson, made headlines for fighting his place on the no-fly list.
In 2013, long was trying to fly back to the US from Qatar to visit his ailing mother but was stopped by US authorities for his place on the No-Fly List. Long had moved to the Middle East in 2005 after leaving the air force in the late 1990s.
His no-fly classification prompted major national coverage. Long and the group CAIR fought the placement on civil rights grounds.
When asked about the possible arrest, CAIR-Oklahoma says they hadn't been in contact with Long since 2013 and said in a statement "If the government has evidence that he has broken the law, then he should be charged and tried in a court of law.