DHS Locks Up UK Tourists for “Terrorist” Tweets

A couple of tourists made some jokes on Twitter before vacationing in the US. Unfortunately for them, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) picked up on their tweets, considered them a threat to national security, and gave them a not-so-friendly welcome when they arrived.

According to The Sun, Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting were picked up at Los Angeles International Airport by armed guards, handcuffed and locked up for 12 hours overnight after they were flagged by the DHS as a potential threat.

The tweets that put them in this situation were a couple of jokes in which van Bryan posted to friends his plans to “destroy America” and dig Marilyn Monroe up from her grave.

“The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist. I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet,” van Bryan said.

Unfortunately for them, the jokes weren’t considered funny by US law enforcement and after being held in separate cells, they were put on a flight back home.

Bunting had nothing to do with the tweets, but she was suspected of acting as a lookout while they dug up Monroe’s grave.

“Officials told us we were not allowed into the country because of Leigh's tweets. We just wanted to have a good time on holiday. That was all Leigh meant in his tweets,” 24-year-old Emily said.

By now it shouldn’t be a secret to anyone that the DHS monitors a large number of sites in search for things like cyber criminals, terrorists, biological weapons, and anything else that may pose a danger to national security.

So, were the actions of US authorities out of line, or were they acting in a justified manner considering the large number of potential threats targeting the country? The DHS didn’t comment on the issue, but the incident will surely cause some waves.

In the meantime, be careful what you write on social media websites.


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