Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy


by Sunny
9th February, 2011 at 10:01 am    

I missed this Daily Mirror story last week (via @taniabranigan):

An immigration officer put his own wife on a terrorist watch list – ­so she could not get home from a trip to Pakistan. The officer was so sick of his partner that when she was visiting family overseas he added her name to the register of people banned from flights into the UK.

When she went to the airport to get her return flight back, officials told her she could not board the plane and did not ­explain why. She called her husband, who ­promised to look into it – but left her stuck in Pakistan for THREE YEARS. He was sacked after bosses found out about his antics.

Forget the obvious jokes – it’s very worrying that it’s so damn easy to put anyone on a terrorist ‘watch-list’. The UK Border Agency took three years to find out that her name was wrongly on the list? And that too only because he went for a promotion and they found his wife was on the list.

Why isn’t / wasn’t there any oversight on the process on putting people on these lists? Why aren’t people told why they are being denied the right to come back into the country, at least so they can clear their name? Why isn’t anyone asking these questions?


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  2. Beatrice Berwing

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  3. Zoe Stavri

    It's really easy to get people on the terrorist watch-list. Worrying http://bit.ly/fMc3KK (via @sunny_hundal)


  4. Syed Choudhury

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  5. Lee Griffin

    RT @sunny_hundal : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK <– extremely worrying


  6. cowan88

    “@sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK” <- that is a worry


  7. Greg Eden

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  8. Guilliana Castle

    RT @sunny_hundal: Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  9. Tom Drinkwater

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  10. sunny hundal

    (From this morning): Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  11. Ma

    RT @sunny_hundal: (From this morning): Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  12. Chris Paul

    RT @sunny_hundal: (From this morning): Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  13. Andy Chantrill

    RT @sunny_hundal: (From this morning): Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  14. 10 O'Clock Live

    Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  15. Stephen Robson

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  16. Jonathan Saunders

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  17. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @sunny_hundal: Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  18. T. Baron O'Daighre

    #ifyoureallylovedher you wouldn't put her on a terrorist watch-list. http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/11745 BAM! NAILED IT!


  19. johntucker

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  20. Matthew Clark

    RT @sunny_hundal: (From this morning): Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  21. Photojournik

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  22. Ben Jones

    incredible story: http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  23. Patrick Dennehy

    RT @benjonesdj: incredible story: http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  24. Lydia Bottrell

    RT @tomOdaighre: #ifyoureallylovedher you wouldn't put her on a terrorist watch-list. http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/11745 BAM! …


  25. Hector Roddan

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  26. 1dmg

    ¡Ay carumba! THREE years! RT @sunny_hundal Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  27. Dave O'Connor

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  28. Jonathan Davis

    WOAH! This is messed up! RT: @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  29. Michelle Pulford

    RT @benjonesdj: incredible story: http://bit.ly/fMc3KK cheeky sod! Some men will do anything for a bit of peace and quiet!


  30. Luke Rudnicki

    @ebertchicago Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  31. Suneta K

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  32. Mark E

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  33. Sarah Thomson

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  34. Stephen Kelly

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  35. Mark Charan Newton

    RT @sunny_hundal: (From this morning): Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  36. roleyq

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  37. Diane Walker

    RT @sunny_hundal: (From this morning): Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  38. Taranjit S Badh

    RT @sunny_hundal: (From this morning): Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  39. Matthew Rutter

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  40. Paul (PAV) Valentine

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  41. Ira

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  42. Katrina Rees

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  43. Jane Scott

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  44. William

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  45. Chris Marsh

    http://bit.ly/fHSOfD #fb Scary…


  46. Nikita Oliver-Lew

    RT @10oClockLive: Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  47. Paul Abbott

    RT @10oClockLive Terrifying. RT @sunny_hundal: Didn’t realise putting people on a terrorist ‘watch-list’ was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK


  48. Chris

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Didn't realise putting people on a terrorist 'watch-list' was that easy http://bit.ly/fMc3KK




  1. Kismet Hardy — on 9th February, 2011 at 10:40 am  

    “Forget the obvious jokes”

    Dammit.

  2. ukliberty — on 9th February, 2011 at 1:42 pm  

    Until I read this story the classic story for me about such lists is from the USA:

    In August 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) told a Senate Judiciary Committee discussing the No Fly List that he had appeared on the list and had been repeatedly delayed at airports. He said it had taken him three weeks of appeals directly to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to have him removed from the list. Kennedy said he was eventually told that the name “T Kennedy” was added to the list because it was once used as an alias of a suspected terrorist. There are an estimated 7,000 American men whose legal names correspond to “T Kennedy”. (Senator Kennedy, whose first name was Edward and for whom “Ted” was only a nickname, would not have been one of them.) Recognizing that as a U.S. Senator he was in a privileged position of being able to contact Ridge, Kennedy said of “ordinary citizens”: “How are they going to be able to get to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?”

    – Wikipedia

    What a brilliant system!

    It’s stories like this that make me wonder why we are so happy to accept what the authorities say – even though society hugely distrusts them. I think it comes down to the “It will never happen to me” syndrome.

  3. Hermes — on 9th February, 2011 at 2:27 pm  

    Well done Sunny for giving this some airing. I was shocked by the story of how easy it is to abuse the system. I guess it is best to stay well away from anybody who works for immigration services!

    But, what a great way to get rid of the wife. Saves on all that divorce stuff. Not funny at all really.

  4. Refresh — on 9th February, 2011 at 6:31 pm  

    ‘I guess it is best to stay well away from anybody who works for immigration services!’

    And don’t risk upsetting anyone, in case they are a friend of a friend. And don’t irritate anyone on blogs, and don’t go out.

  5. mangles — on 10th February, 2011 at 12:56 am  

    Sunny you sometimes come across as so ignorant – there has been so much publicity for years within the Sikh and Punjabi community about this sort of thing- that you are supposedly so connected with and fully informed about; hundreds if not thousands of SIkh activists have been put on such lists and denied passage to India for simply exerting there right to democratic free speech in this country (so often denied in India) that it has been in Punjabi press and even recently discussed on Sikh TV Channels – but you would have robably deemed all such people as perhaps on those lists for genuine reasons – never due to an abuse of powers and as a result of political tinkering. Oh well at least you agree that this lady was innocent.

    So long as its Islamic Jihadi Sharia Law enforcers, BNP type-EDL protestors – your sentiments usually support that they should all have their rights protected. But seems you only like to deny the political rights of Sikhs. Oh well I suppose we should expect such irony from Indian heritage jounalists like yourself- they are so familiar with corruption that they have made a home for it even in the UK. Suppose you still believe that there is no political suppression in the (supposed) worlds largest democracy.

    I’ve been away for a bit….clearly not long enough…..

    Rab Rakha!

  6. Sunny — on 10th February, 2011 at 2:43 am  

    hundreds if not thousands of SIkh activists have been put on such lists and denied passage to India

    Stop frothing for a second mangles.

    Are you talking about a list by India (which doesn’t surprise me) or the British authorities limiting people from going to India?

    Also, there’s a simple reason I don’t listen to Punjabi radio or watch Punjabi TV? It’s dire.

  7. mangles — on 10th February, 2011 at 3:04 am  

    Firstly I dont froth – I leave that to you lol.

    Secondly, the list would initially be made up by the Injuns but their close ‘collaboration on security matters’ would no dubt influence who India denied free passage to and to whom the Brit authorities kept out.

    Not surprised you dont read Punjabi press – nor do I – but knowledge of this issue is commonplace. & I didnt refer to Punjabi TV but Sikh Channels. As far as dire goes i’d say the quality was consistent with yours and your mate Amardeep Bassey’s quality of journalism, though not with such consistently predicatable and pre-concluded inventions and magical conclusions, lol.

    Rab rakha!

  8. mangles — on 10th February, 2011 at 3:06 am  

    Though of course you referred to Punjabi Radio and not Punjabi Press – I trust you dont read that either.

    Rab rakha!

  9. Sunny — on 10th February, 2011 at 3:26 am  

    No I don’t read Punjabi press either. Who the hell wants to know what’s going on at the SGPC?

    and your mate Amardeep Bassey’s quality of journalism

    Awwww… .stung by his journalism hey? Good.

    Lastly, if its a list made by the Indian govt I have no way to influence or challenge that. I’ve never been a fan of the Indian govt’s human rights abuses towards Sikhs. I’m focusing here on the UK.

  10. mangles — on 10th February, 2011 at 11:52 am  

    Stung by Amerdeep Bassey ? As if ? I was just referreing to the (lack of) quality journo you usually defend without an ounce of critique. Amerdeep is no threat to real debate on human rights and politics for me or the issues I profile- except when his type of self-fulfillig hatred towards the victims of Indian state brutality is presented as truth; he’d probably interview KPS Gill and present his as some sort of Mother Teresa figure; well he would probabaly try and you would probably buy into it and defend it.

    Gosh I cant even believe i’m discussing Bassey – who cares about him – he has no credibility nor any journalistic worth. All he and you can do is be the rubber stamps for fictitious extremism that doesn’t exist rather than exposing Indian state repression, India’s human rights violations and political persecution.

    You say: ‘I’ve never been a fan of the Indian govt’s human rights abuses towards Sikhs.’

    No? -you do a damned good job of hiding that one Sunny boy.

    Rab rakha!

  11. Rumbold — on 10th February, 2011 at 12:25 pm  

    Mangles:

    Sunny has written on 1984, and Indian state repression (as have I and others on this site). Sunny cares about these issues, but what he doesn’t like is when people use genuine repression (like 1984) to push their own views.

    Watching the Sikh Channel recently I came across a debate about drug addiction in the Punjab. I thought this was an excellent topic to cover, as a number of Sikhs have told me about high levels of addiction in Southall amongst recent immigrants. One of the presenters then explained it wasn’t the fault of the addicts but rather the Indian government which was deliberately getting these young men addicted to keep them down.

    This annoys me, as there were plenty of Sikhs persecuted and tortured both before and after 1984, who still have to receive justice (to say nothing of the victims of 1984 itself). Yet their cause is drowned out by the sort of views above, which prevents their message getting to a potentially sympathetic wider audience.

  12. mangles — on 10th February, 2011 at 1:06 pm  

    Rumbold thank you the clarification and I share similar frustrations when non-sensical arguments are put forward without foundation.

    However, the point I was making, though I accept rhetorically, is that all too often Pickled Politics has appeared to tow the Indian state propaganda angle by blaming ‘terrorists’ and ‘extremists’ while using this as a ploy to attack people whose most basic and fundamental human rights and political campaigning have been ransacked in India.

    Khalistanis in the main, like Palestinian, Kashmiri and other freedom movements, have evolved due to such heavy handedness. I’ll reference the bombing several years ago in Ludhiana of a cinema which was instantly blamed on Khalistanis-linked-to-Al Qaeda (if that was never a contradiction in itself) by the Indian propaganda machine, and the whole western media, inclduing as I recall commentators/ contributors here latched onto that as Khalistanis suppressing freedom of arts etc. More recently it has transpired that most if not all such bombings that have taken place across India in the past decade and more were probably the work of Hindu terrorist organisations. Which clearly means that since the taming of blatant police disappearances and extra-judicial killings by Indian security forces as a result of the death of Beant Singh Chief Minister and KPS Gill as Head of Police being removed, there have been virtual no acts of terrorism in Punjab nor armed links to Sikh secession. Then how can the subsequent arrest of thousands of Sikh activists in Punjab on all sorts of fabricated charges continue to go unchallenged by so called Sikh and Asian media persons; yet those same so-called journalists try to present scoops suggesting that there is an active Sikh-extremist movement in this country? How? Where? Why? are the questions I then pose to such fabricated stories, when clearly there is almost a none-existent armed movement in Punjab.

    Sorry for a lenghty post Rumbold, however, there is a real need for some proper journalism on the continuing political suppression in Punjab and no-one, especially Indian based journalists (usually due to the fear of their own lives) is covering it with the depth and consistency needed.

    Like it or hate it but the highest courts in India have proclaimed, in the un-ending criminal cases brought against Simranjit Singh Mann, that one is not a traitor or secessionist for campaigning on Khalistan. Being a Khalistani does not make an individual in India a criminal or a militant. This is a political right; ashamedly it has taken nearly 30 years for this right to be established in case law in India. That said hopefully the campaigning will now become clearer and sharper, so long as politicians, lawyers and press are allowed to freely report and investigate abuses and allowed to present their arguments freely.

    It is a damining indictment that a courageous individual like S Jaswant Singh Kalra can be executed under the full glare of the worlds media and politicians, and yet the person all fingers point to, KPS Gill, has been allowed to travel across the globe heading Indias Hockey franchise, yet no Amerdeep Bassey had the balls to question him on his illegal approach to suppress a legitimate political movement, as well as Human rights activists, whilst pursuing an armed movement. There seem to be double standards at play here- and these are heavily racked against the Sikh freedom movement and campaigners trying to get justice for the thousands of innocent victims.

    Rab rakha!

  13. Kismet Hardy — on 10th February, 2011 at 1:20 pm  

    “there is a real need for some proper journalism on the continuing political suppression in Punjab and no-one, especially Indian based journalists (usually due to the fear of their own lives) is covering it with the depth and consistency needed.”

    I’m sure you’re right. Probably not on a UK website though

  14. Rumbold — on 10th February, 2011 at 2:50 pm  

    Mangles:

    However, the point I was making, though I accept rhetorically, is that all too often Pickled Politics has appeared to tow the Indian state propaganda angle by blaming ‘terrorists’ and ‘extremists’ while using this as a ploy to attack people whose most basic and fundamental human rights and political campaigning have been ransacked in India.

    I disagree that PP has taken this line. We have been fiercely critical of the Indian government on a number of occasions, from Modi’s massacres to 1984 to general human rights repression. However, I agree that the Indian government does use the ‘terrorist’ label to smear and discredit opponents, such as a continued imprisonment and persecution of a doctor whose crime was to treat prisoners in poor conditions:

    http://www.economist.com/node/18014107?story_id=18014107&fsrc=rss

    Like it or hate it but the highest courts in India have proclaimed, in the un-ending criminal cases brought against Simranjit Singh Mann, that one is not a traitor or secessionist for campaigning on Khalistan. Being a Khalistani does not make an individual in India a criminal or a militant.

    I agree with that. I am not a supporter of Khalistan myself (for a number of practical and other reasons), but I don’t believe that Khalistanis are inherently wrong for arguing for such a state, and I support their right to campaign peacefully for such a state, even though I disagree with it. As we have seen in Kashmir, the Indian government is extremely bad at dealing with human rights protestors, and tackling the underlying issues causing the discontent.

    There is also plenty for activists in the Punjab to complain about- the uneven distribution of water resources with Haryana and Rajasthan being one of the most prominent examples.

    More recently it has transpired that most if not all such bombings that have taken place across India in the past decade and more were probably the work of Hindu terrorist organisations.

    That’s one of the accusations at present, though I don’t believe it has been proven yet. It wouldn’t surprise me though.

    We don’t talk about Indian issues as much as UK issues for the simple fact we are a UK-centred blog. That it not to say these issues shouldn’t be talked about mind. I can’t recall people talking about Sikh extremists en masse in this country, though in the 1980s there were Sikh extremists at large.

  15. mangles — on 10th February, 2011 at 3:42 pm  

    Rumbold: ‘I can’t recall people talking about Sikh extremists en masse in this country, though in the 1980s there were Sikh extremists at large.’ – only because we were told that they were extremists and that they had carried out particular acts of violence. Thousands of people were subsequently extrajudicially killed who were alleged to be extremists, along with their families. Very few cases made it to the courts and of those that did, mist individuals were found to be non-guilty and charges filed against them to be fabricated. We were told that there were extremists en masse in this country also – in the past three decades only a handful (even that I agree is far too many) of individuals were ever convicted of any crime. Most issues were squabbles over control of Gurdwaras- again not needed – but I have been to AFL rallies and observed bigger and louder internal arguments, jeering and sometimes even violence- that does not make AFL an extremist organisation though does it?

    ‘We don’t talk about Indian issues as much as UK issues for the simple fact we are a UK-centred blog.’ point taken – then suggesting Sikh extremists operate in this country should not be construed just because a very large and orchstrated foreign government machine is saying so. Otherwise a biased perspective is given.

    Kismet Hardy: ‘I’m sure you’re right. Probably not on a UK website though’ – thank you for your comments. I apologise for taking this thread on an angle – however – this domestic case highlighted how easy an individual/ a community can be victimised – in the opening case on the simple intervention of a single individual; in the case of the Sikh community on the issuing of successive false information by a foreign Government.

    Rab rakha!

  16. Rumbold — on 10th February, 2011 at 4:22 pm  

    Mangles:

    Thanks for your response (and don’t worry about tangents, that’s where the fun is).

    Then suggesting Sikh extremists operate in this country should not be construed just because a very large and orchstrated foreign government machine is saying so. Otherwise a biased perspective is given.

    Who on the Pickled Politics’ writing team has suggested this? I must have missed this. Sikh extremists were certainly active in this country in the mid-1980s, as you acknowledge. I know that the Indian government persecuted activists under this guise at this time, but that doesn’t mean that no such threat existed.

    Sorry, what is the AFL?

    I (and Sunny) are quite unequivocal about this. Campaigning for Khalistan should not be a crime. Sikh activists using peaceful means shouldn’t be harassed and smeared. Sikh activists using illegal means should be prosecuted freely and fairly and tried in a court of law, and not tortured, disappeared or similar.

  17. Roger — on 11th February, 2011 at 3:53 am  

    Never mind being dismissed; why isn’t he being prosecuted for misuse of his position? His wife would have a good case for suing him for compensation too.

  18. mangles — on 14th February, 2011 at 4:17 pm  

    Rumbold – AFL should have read ANL – (Anti – Nazi League)

    Otherwise a biased perspective is given. -Who on the Pickled Politics’ writing team has suggested this?

    That is the line that is usually defended by some members of the team (particularly Sunny – hence the deliberate direct jibe) and the example I gave of the effortlessly biased Amardeep Bassey radio documentary for the Beeb a couple of years ago was one particular episode that sticks in my mind.

    And yes there were some and very limited individuals who may have been involved in non-legal activities and forms of protest, however the extent of this has been long exaggerated and should not have led to the banning of SIkh groups whose particular purpose in this country was political lobbying and campaigning on human rights violations of the very sort of people who were largely being persecuted because of the political rather than extremist activities.

    Rab rakha!

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