Anger grows over children caught in no-fly lists

Six-year-old Canadian Syed Adam Ahmed garnered national attention when he needed special security clearance to fly to Boston for the NHL Winter Classic -- but he’s far from the only child to be mistakenly caught in a “no-fly list.

See Full Article

Sheldon Ali says his son, Naseer Muhammad, was held up before flying for the first time when he was only 10 weeks old.

"We know it is going to happen every time," said Ali.

Repeated incidents have led Ali to believe that his son has been targeted because of his religion and ethnic background.

"My son's name is Muslim. We are Muslim. So it leaves me to believe (that) this is a form of racial profiling," he said.

Likewise, Syed Ayden Hussain was only 19-months old when he and his father, also named Syed, were held by border agents during a trip to the United States, only to be later released with no explanation.

"We had to submit our fingerprints ... they did retinal scans and took pictures of us," said his father, Syed Hussain.

Zamir Khan's son, Sebastian, was only six weeks old when he faced similar treatment before boarding a flight.

Khan said that he asked the Canadian government to intervene, but they said they could only offer assistance if his son was barred from the flight.

"I was informed that as long as he was only delayed by this, and not actually denied boarding, they can't help us," he said.

Following the incident involving Ahmed, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale promised to investigate the issue. He said the Liberal government pledged to review issues relating to "no-fly lists," as part of a broader plan to repeal the "problematic elements" of the previous government's anti-terrorism law, Bill C-51 -- which the Liberals supported.

However, Muslim groups are looking for concrete steps to improve the process and prevent the wrong names from landing -- and staying -- on the list.

"There has to be due process … before a person is listed," said Khalid Elgazzar, lawyer and vice-chair of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

David Lyons, a professor of surveillance studies at Queen’s University, told CTV News earlier this week that there is "great secrecy" concerning the make-up up of no-fly lists, as well as their creation.

And some security experts argue that they repeatedly victimize innocent people.

"The burden of proving your innocence falls on the person who has been deemed guilty, and they have no idea why," said Emily Gilbert, a security expert and professor at the University of Toronto.

With a report by CTV’s Peter Akman


Latest Canada & World News

  • Small quakes continue to shake Italy

    World News CTV News
    MILAN -- A series of small temblors have continued to shake a mountainous region of central Italy, further unsettling thousands of residents displaced by a pair of powerful aftershocks to the deadly August quake. Italy's national volcanology center said two smaller quakes registered magnitudes above 4 before dawn Thursday, centered near Macerata in the Marche region, while dozens of smaller ones were recorded in the area overnight. Source
  • Chinese sailor attempting record missing in Pacific near Hawaii

    World News CBC News
    The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a Chinese man attempting to set a sailing record after a crew did not find him aboard his boat off the Hawaii islands. In a statement Wednesday night, the Coast Guard said a crew from the USS Makin Island went aboard Guo Chuan's trimaran about 620 miles northwest of Oahu and only found Guo's life jacket. Source
  • Police veto plans to reopen Australian theme park 3 days after deaths

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - The Australian theme park where four people died on a river rapids ride has defended its safety record as police vetoed plans to reopen its doors to the public three days after the tragedy. Source
  • Japan, U.S. and South Korea agree to step up pressure on North Korea

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - Senior officials from Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed Thursday to step up pressure on North Korea as they stick to their goal of persuading the communist state to abandon its nuclear weapons. Source
  • Local sheriff's office getting impatient with Dakota Access protesters

    World News CBC News
    Protesters trying to stop construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline were bracing for a confrontation with police Thursday after the demonstrators refused to leave private land in the pipeline's path. A months-long dispute over the four-state, $3.8 billion US pipeline reached a crisis point when some 200 protesters set up camp on land owned by pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners. Source
  • Search continues for man wanted in Oklahoma 'rage killings'

    World News CTV News
    OKLAHOMA CITY - The search for an Oklahoma man wanted in a cross-state string of killings, shootings and carjackings is entering its fourth day, and authorities say they have no idea where the suspect may be. Source
  • Early voting shows Clinton ahead: AP-GfK poll

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton appears on the cusp of a potentially commanding victory over Donald Trump, fueled by solid Democratic turnout in early voting, massive operational advantages and increasing enthusiasm among her supporters. A new Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday finds the Democratic nominee has grabbed significant advantages over her Republican rival with just 12 days left before Election Day. Source
  • Uncle of Japanese emperor dies at age 100

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - The younger brother of former Japanese Emperor Hirohito died Thursday at the age of 100. The Imperial Household Agency announced that Prince Mikasa had died in the morning at a hospital in Tokyo. Source
  • Don Atchison loses bid for 5th term as Saskatoon mayor

    Canada News CBC News
    Don Atchison's 13-year run as mayor has ended after he was defeated by former city Coun. Charlie Clark, who became the unofficial mayor-elect in Wednesday's election. The unofficial results were Charlie Clark with 41 per cent of vote, Don Atchison with 37 per cent, Kelley Moore with 22 per cent, and Devon Hein with one per cent of the vote. Source
  • Oilers continue torrid start with win over Capitals

    Canada News CBC News
    ?The Edmonton Oilers aren't used to this type of start to a season. Benoit Pouliot had a pair of goals as the Oilers stretched their winning streak to four games with a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. Source