The "terrorist" almost showed up in an orange jumpsuit.
Paul Kenyon thought that it was a joke when he was told that he and his 3-month-old grandson, Harvey, would need to meet with the U.S. Embassy in London for questions regarding the baby’s terrorist activities, but it wasn’t.
Kenyon and the whole family were supposed to go overseas on a vacation to Orlando, Florida and it would be Harvey’s first international trip. When Kenyon was filling out Harvey’s visa waiver form, he came across this question: “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” By accident, Kenyon ticked “yes” instead of “no,” prompting the embassy to pursue the matter further, and request an interview after refusing to allow Harvey to travel.
“I couldn’t believe that they couldn’t see it was a genuine mistake and that a three-month-old baby would be no harm to anyone,” said the 62-year-old.
To the embassy, this was no laughing matter. The pair was forced to take a 10-hour roundtrip to London to submit to an interview. The mishap cost nearly $4,000, as Harvey’s parents had to reschedule their flights because the approved visa didn’t come in time. Despite this expensive mistake, Kenyon maintained his sense of humor throughout the whole affair.
“Baby Harvey was good as gold for the interview and never cried once. I thought about taking him along in an orange jumpsuit, but thought better of it,” said Kenyon. “They didn’t appear to have a sense of humor over it at all and couldn’t see the funny side.
With tensions high in the U.S. and terrorist activities throughout the globe amping up following more intervention in controversial countries, it’s not wonder this U.S. Embassy didn’t allow this mistake to slide through the cracks without following up. However, as Kenyon pointed out, actual terrorists would not be ticking “yes” on that question anyway, leaving him to believe that it was simply a show of force by the embassy. All seriousness aside, Kenyon added,
“He’s obviously never engaged in genocide, or espionage, but he has sabotaged quite a few nappies in his time, though I didn’t tell them that at the U.S. embassy.”
Paul, his wife Cathy, and his granddaughter Ava all flew out to their villa in Orlando as scheduled, but Harvey and his parents, Faye and John, had to leave a flew days later as a result.