US Embassy: No Blacklist for Saudi Islamist Activists

A senior official from the United States’ Embassy in Saudi Arabia has denied the existence of a list of Saudi Islamist activists who are banned from traveling to the US, noting that the previous travel ban was based on confidential information that cannot be disclosed to the public.

Cecilia Khatib, a consul at the US Embassy, said that US privacy laws protecting personal information state that reasons for an individual being banned from travel can only be disclosed to that individual. She added that there is no information about the existence a list.

The question is probably related to the case of famous Saudi cleric Ayedh al-Qarnee who was deplaned a flight from Riyadh to New York last month after he was told he is persona non grata in the United States. Former US diplomat in Saudi Arabia John Burgess wrote on his site Crossroads Arabia that he is “sure” the Embassy in Riyadh does not hold a blacklist.