A three-month-old baby was summoned to the U.S. Embassy in London for investigations into his involvement in terrorist activities. The hard to imagine event happened when the baby's grandfather Paul Kenyon made an error on the infant's visa waiver form.
The question that read, “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” was mistakenly answered with a yes instead of a no.
The infant was headed to his first overseas holiday to Orlando, Florida, with his mother. According to The Guardian, the baby and his mother were taken from their home in Poynton, Cheshire, to the embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, to be questioned by officials. The round trip took nearly 10 hours — longer than the nine-and-a-half-hour flight time from Manchester to Orlando.
Kenyon only learned of his error when the grandson's travel was refused.
“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,” he told The Guardian. “He’s obviously never engaged in genocide or espionage, but he has sabotaged quite a few nappies (diapers) in his time, though I didn’t tell them that at the U.S. embassy.”
The mix-up led to a 10-hour detour, missed flights and an approximately US$3,800 bill.
“It was a very expensive mistake, but I was hoping the U.S. embassy would realize that it was just a simple error without us having to jump through all the hoops,” Kenyon said. “If you were a terrorist, I suspect you’d not be ticking yes on the Esta form anyway.”