Mo Farah held by US customs on suspicion of being a terrorist as he returned to family home for Christmas

mofarahTeam GB’s Olympic hero Mo Farah’s two gold medals could not prevent him being held by US customs officials on suspicion of terrorism as he returned home to Portland, Oregon for Christmas.

Farah, who won a 5,000m and 10,000m double at London 2012, was detained for questioning after the US border force saw he was born in Somalia.

The 29 year-old came over to Britain with his English-born father as a child and is one of the most famous athletes in the world, but this did not stop judicious officials from grilling him at the border.

Farah moved to Portland last year to work with his coach Alberto Salazar at Nike’s HQ in the Pacific Northwest and was travelling back to spend Christmas with his wife and children.

And even presenting his two gold medals to the officials did not help his cause.

“I couldn’t believe it. Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through US Customs. This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn’t have it,” he told the Sun.

This is not the first of Farah’s run-ins with US customs. He had similar struggles when he tried to get a residency permit to live in Portland.

Farah and his family visited Portland as tourists before exiting the country to Toronto in anticipation of shortly returning as residents with authorised permits.

Farah told the newspaper that when he and his family tried to leave Canada and enter the US as residents they were told they were under investigation as a terrorist threat and would have to stay away for 90 days.

But Salazar intervened and called upon a friend at the FBI – a massive running fan – and he solved the issue.

“God knows what would have happened if he didn’t. We’d probably still be in Toronto,” said Farah.


Short URL: http://somalilandembassy.com/?p=178

Posted by on Dec 31 2012. Filed under Current Affairs, News In English. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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