MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — For seven-year-old Javaid Iqbal, the holiday to Florida was a dream trip to reward him for doing well at school. But he was left in tears after he was stopped repeatedly at airports on suspicion of being a terrorist.
The security alerts were triggered because Javaid shares his name with a Pakistani man deported from the US, prompting staff at three airports to question his family about his identity.The family even missed their flight home from the U.S. after officials cancelled their tickets in the confusion.
The ordeal began in Manchester when Naushaba Nadeem, a doctor, and her children Sana and Fareeha, both nine, Javaid and five-year-old Iftikhar, tried to board a flight to Orlando. Dr Nadeem, 35, said: “When we arrived at the front counter to check in at Manchester Airport, staff said there was a security block on Javaid’s name. I understand and agree security checks are important but he is only seven and a half years old. We had to stand at the desk for three hours while they checked everything out. Eventually, everything was fine and we were given our boarding passes.”
The family enjoyed their eight day holiday earlier this month, taking in Disney World and other attractions before returning to the UK on a route that began with an internal flight from Orlando to Philadelphia. Dr Nadeem said: “It happened again at Orlando Airport and then Javaid’s name was blocked again at Philadelphia Airport. This time they had cancelled our tickets by the time they gave Javaid security clearance. I was all on my own, I don’t know anyone in Philadelphia.”
International airports will not discuss security policies and anti-terrorism measures and all those involved refused to comment on this case. [via THE EVENING STANDARD]