Muhammad Ali Jr. Stopped From Boarding Domestic Flight in DC | NBC New York
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Muhammad Ali Jr. Stopped From Boarding Domestic Flight in DC

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent out a tweet Friday afternoon saying that Ali Jr. was detained by Department of Homeland Security officials while on a domestic flight

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Muhammad Ali, Jr. says he is angry after he was stopped at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Friday one month after being detained at FLL Airport.

    (Published Friday, March 10, 2017)

    The son of the late boxing champion Muhammad Ali was stopped by officials at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Friday.

    Muhammad Ali Jr. was traveling from Washington D.C. to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    "I'm out here trying to take care of business and I have to be harassed," Ali Jr. said. "My mind is thrown off I can't even think about what I'm trying to do... it's really bad. I mean, nobody should take this type of abuse."

    Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent out a tweet Friday afternoon saying that Ali Jr. was stopped by Department of Homeland Security officials while on a domestic flight.

    Ali said he was initially stopped by a ticket agent who said his ID was expired and could not give him his boarding pass. The agent informed Ali that his name was flagged and he would not be allowed to board the plane until DHS was contacted, Ali told NBC Miami.

    Ali also said that his ID is not expired. There were no explanation given on why he was stopped for an "expired ID." He said he eventually retrieved his passport and was allowed to board a JetBlue Airways flight after about 25 minutes.

    "None of this was happening Wednesday," Ali's lawyer said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon as he was traveling with the Alis. "Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS."

    There was a phone call made by DHS to Transportation Security Adminstration to confirm Ali's identity, according to a statement from DHS.

    When Ali arrived at the security check point, his jewelry alarmed the scanner and he received a targeted pat-down to clear the alarm, the statement said.

    Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz said she believes Ali is being speaking up before Congress a day earlier. 

    "We have the Department of Homeland Security that appears to be targeting people based on their religion for screening and retaliating against people for speaking up about it? I mean, is this Trump's America?" said Wasserman Schultz. 

    Ali Jr. and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, were in D.C. Thursday to talk to members of Congress about his recent detention at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

    On Feb. 7, immigration officials at Fort Lauderdale Airport detained and extensively questioned Ali and his mother about their ancestry and religion.

    The mother and son, both born in the United States, have said in interviews that they believe they have been stopped because they are Muslim with Arabic names. Earlier this week, they announced a campaign for religious freedom in the spirit of the boxing icon, supported by ex-boxing greats Evander Holyfield, Larry Holmes, Roberto Duran and others. They say they are opposed to President Donald Trump's travel ban, which they feel unfairly targets Muslims.

    ____

    NBC previously reported that Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Friday. This has been corrected from "detained" to "stopped" at Ronald Reagan Airport.