UPDATE: Oklahoma Man Detained By Turkey Was Reportedly NOT Trying to Join ISIS


UPDATE (12/11/15 3:39 PM): Oklahoma’s News9 reports, citing Turkish officials, that Long has not been arrested nor charged with any crime and that reports that he was arrested for trying to join ISIS were unfounded. U.S. officials have not commented beyond confirming that they had heard “reports” of a detention and are monitoring the situation. The Intercept has also run a story calling into question the veracity of the original report from PJ Media. Their report says Long is only being detained for deportation and hasn’t been arrested or charged.

Watch, via News9.

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

PJ Media is standing by its reporting, insisting Long was arrested “as part of an ISIS cell” and accusing Greenwald’s debunking follow-up of “numerous internally inconsistent claims and misleading passages.”

Mediaite ran this story after reports from news websites PJ Media and Fox News. Our editors included a tweet from Glenn Greenwald calling into question the ‘accusations’ from PJ Media as part of our original story.

The original story is as follows:

Saadiq Long, a Muslim U.S. Air Force veteran who made national headlines after the Department of Homeland Security blocked him from flying to the Middle East, has been reportedly arrested in Turkey for attempting to join ISIS.

In 2013, Long attempted to visit his mother in Oklahoma from his home Qatar. But when he tried to fly to the United State, he was informed that he was on the no-fly list. Long managed to visit his mother by driving down to Mexico and flying out there, but the United States blocked his return for months.

His case quickly became a cause célèbre on the left. “US Muslim placed on no-fly list is unable to see his ailing mother” reported The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald. The Council of American-Islamic Relations touted his case and wrote no less than 22 articles on Long. Long and CAIR even went on MSNBC to give an interview to Chris Hayes.

But yesterday, conservative website PJ Media learned that Long had been arrested along with other members of ISIS. “U.S. and Turkish officials confirmed Long’s arrest to PJ Media, saying that he was arrested along with eight others operating along the Turkish-Syrian border,” they write. “So far, no U.S. media outlet has reported on his arrest.” The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross also received confirmation from the U.S. government that Long had been arrested.

Greenwald took to Twitter to address the development, arguing that just because Long had been reportedly arrested, that didn’t prove he was guilty.

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