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US Customs Form Asks, ‘Are You A Terrorist?’ — 70-Year Old Grandpa May Get Blacklisted For Mistakenly Saying Yes

Paul Szoldra Avatar

A 70-year-old Scottish man may be barred from entering the United States on an upcoming vacation because he mistakenly answered yes to a customs form asking whether he was a terrorist.

Which begs the question of why the hell an actual terrorist would answer yes to such a question, but I digress.

  • According to the UK Independent, John Stevenson was filling out his travel form ahead of a Dec. 3 trip from Scotland to New York City when his lone screwup brought him into a bureaucratic nightmare.
  • “We were filling out the visa form and it kept timing out before we could tick all the boxes,” Stevenson told the paper. “One of the questions ask if you are a terrorist and it must have jumped from No to Yes without me knowing.”
  • The grandfather encountered the problem while filling out an online form from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which lets people from select countries travel to the U.S. without a visa, according to The New York Times.
  • Stevenson isn’t the first to mess up the online form. Last month, a Scottish woman accidentally answered yes to the ESTA question, “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?,” according to BBC.
  • Stevenson did try calling to get it fixed to no avail. He has one shot at correcting the record by making an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in London before his trip.
  • “It’s terrible, it’s shocking and so stupid. I don’t know why that question is on the form in the first place,” he said.