30 jan 2012
Banned from US for “destroy America’ tweet
Leigh Van Bryan wrote a message to his 24-year-old friend Emily Bunting before he left for a holiday in Los Angeles. The tweet said,”Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America”.
US agents monitoring Twitter spotted Van Bryan’s message, The Sun reported.
The 26-year-old Van Bryan said that on arrival at the Los Angeles airport, they were treated like terrorists.
They were held by armed guards and questioned by US officials for five hours before being handcuffed, put in a van with illegal immigrants and locked up overnight.
The two spent 12 hours in separate cells and were then put on a flight back to Britain.
Despite telling officials at the airport that the term “destroy” was a British slang for partying, the two friends were held on suspicion of planning to “commit crimes”.
“The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist. I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me ‘You’ve really f***ed up with that tweet, boy’,” said Van Bryan.
He was questioned about another tweet that spoke of “diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”.
Officials even checked the duo’s baggage for spades and suspected Emily would act as a lookout while Van Bryan raided the actress’s tomb.
The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment.