A 29-year-old U.S. citizen and Army veteran sits in a bare apartment in a poor part of the Colombian capital, Bogota. He wants to come home, but he can’t. He thinks it’s because he’s on the federal government’s “no-fly list.”

Raymond Earl Knaeble is one of an unknown number of Americans stranded overseas. They can’t fly home, but no one will tell them why.

In Knaeble’s case, he went to the airport in Bogota on March 14 to board a plane for Miami, Florida.
“I had a job offered to me and one of the requirements to secure the job was that I had to take a medical exam. It was scheduled for March 16 in the U.S.,” Knaeble said.

When he arrived at the gate, however, an airline official denied him a boarding pass. He was instructed to contact the U.S. Embassy in Bogota.

“They told me I couldn’t fly with the airline, with any airline,” he said. “My heart sank. They didn’t give me a reason why. I’ve been stuck in Colombia without any explanation.”

Knaeble, a resident of California, believes he has been placed on the federal no-fly list. The list is maintained by the FBI and indicates who might be a risk to civil aviation, specifically those suspected of being domestic or international terrorists. This list is disseminated among various government agencies like the Transportation Security Administration, for use in screening passengers.

“My plan was to go do my medical screening in the U.S., spend time with my family, secure my job and come back to Colombia to get my wife,” Knaeble said. “Then everything changed. The company retracted my offer and I lost the job.”

Source: Kelly Lynch for CNN.

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