Tourists Barred from the US because of a tweet!

Yes, it really happens. Two holidaymakers were barred from entry to the United States when they were not cleared for security, following a tweet by one friend to another. The tweet in question was that Leigh Van Bryan had said that he was going to 'destroy America'.

The offensive tweet couldn't get past security, even though Leigh insisted that he was only referring to having a good time in America.

The US Department of Homeland Security got hold of the tweet and tracked Mr. Bryan down. An Irish national and a bar manager by profession, Mr. Bryan was planning to go to America with a friend, Emily Bunting. They arrived at Los Angeles International Airport safely, but the Homeland Security agents were waiting for them. Before his departure for the US, Mr. Bryan had messaged a friend on the micro-blogging website Twitter, and the full message read, "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America."

Mr. Bryan complained, "The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist. I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet."

Abta, a trade association that represents travel companies in the UK said to BBC,  "Posting statements in a public forum which could be construed as threatening - in this case saying they are going to "destroy" somewhere - will not be viewed sympathetically by US authorities. In the past we have seen holidaymakers stopped at airport security for 'joking' that they have a bomb in their bag, thoroughly questioned and ending up missing their flights, demonstrating that airport security staff do not have a sense of humour when it comes to potential risk."

Image courtesy: photobucket

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