The TSA and JetBlue airline accused adorable 18-month-old little Riyanna, with brown eyes and curls, of terrorism because her name showed up on the “no fly” list as her and parents tried to get home from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
When TSA saw her name on the no fly list, they pulled her and her parents off the JetBlue airline. According to her parents, who were born and raised in New Jersey, they were humiliated and suspected the incident was less about their baby and more about their ancestry, when they pulled off the plane just as they were about to board.
"And I said, 'For what?'" Riyanna's mother told only WPBF 25 News on Wednesday. "And he said, 'Well, it's not you or your husband. Your daughter was flagged as no fly.' I said, 'Excuse me?'"
Riyanna's father was flabbergasted.
"It's absurd," he said. "It made no sense. Why would an 18-month-old child be on a no-fly list?"
Her parents believe the incident was due to their Middle Eastern appearance, as well as her mother wearing a hijab, the tradition headscarf of Muslim women. However, all sources confirm that the two parents were born and raised in New Jersey, just like their daughter. (video on site)
According to the parents, when TSA pulled the family off the plane and forced them to stand in the terminal, where everyone could see them, for thirty minutes.
"We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab," Riyanna's father said.
Eventually, according to her father, TSA finally allowed them to board the plane to go home, with no apology. However, due to embarrassment, the family refused to get on the plane, wanting to know how it happened that anyone could consider a baby a terrorist.
JetBlue told WPBF that it was TSA’s fault, but the TSA blames JetBlue. TSA stated that since JetBlue gave them boarding passes, the baby was cleared from the “no fly” list.
The family plans to contact an attorney concerning the incident. They also did not state how they are getting home.
"What set it all in motion?" Riyanna's mother asked. "We don't know. And that's what we want to understand."
Russia Today reports on the issue in the below video that TSA stops many potential “child terrorists”, including children with disabilities and those who do not “look like Middle Easterns”. RT also called the security terror of the absurd, which began during the Bush era.
Forbes stated that the only bombs Riyanna ever dropped was in her diapers, adding that TSA stated that those on the “no fly” list do not get a boarding pass.
“TSA did not flag this child as being on the No Fly list. TSA was called to the gate by the airline and after talking to the parents and confirming through our vetting system, TSA determined the airline had mistakenly indicated the child was on a government watch list.”
“Individuals on the No Fly list do not get boarding passes,” the TSA also noted.