"I'm being followed by a jihad shadow..." From AP:
WASHINGTON - A plane bound for Washington from London was diverted to Maine on Tuesday after passenger Yusuf Islam — formerly known as pop singer Cat Stevens — showed up on a U.S. watch list, federal officials said.
United Airlines Flight 919 had already taken off from London en route to Dulles International Airport when the match was made between the passenger and the watch list, said Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration.
The plane was met by federal agents at Maine's Bangor International Airport around 3 p.m., Melendez said.
Federal officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the individual as Islam.
One official said Islam, 56, was identified by the Advanced Passenger Information System, which requires airlines to send passenger information to U.S. Customs and Border Protection's National Targeting Center. TSA was then contacted and requested that the plane land at the nearest airport, the official said.
"He was interviewed and denied admission to the United States on national security grounds," said Homeland Security spokesman Dennis Murphy. He said the man would be put on the first available flight out of the country Wednesday.
I have no idea why DHS would have denied him admission, but I do know a few things about Yusuf Islam.
• He publicly supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence for blasphemy against Salman Rushdie in 1989 ("The Qur'an makes it clear if someone defames the Prophet, then he must die"), although he has backtracked since then.
• He was denied entry into Israel for donating thousands to the civilian-murdering terrorists of Hamas -- although now he denies this too.
Also in the first link above is the allegation that his royalties have gone to fund shadowy activities in Iran, possibly even including the Rushdie fatwa.
In any case, it is clear that there is a great deal questionable about this preposterous counterculture casualty, and I am not in the least surprised that he showed up on the watch list.
UPDATE: Cat Stevens to be deported.