Trump Caught a Good One Here: The Strange Tale of Hassan Aden

Hassan Aden
Details of my CBP Detention at JFK Int. Airport:

On all of my prior trips, I was greeted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers with a warm smile and the usual, “Welcome home sir”.

Not this time. I approached CBP Officer Chow who didn’t say anything when I handed him my passport and looked at me with a gruff expression and simply stated, “are you traveling alone?”, I knew this was a sign of trouble, I answered “yes”, he then said, “Let’s take a walk”.

I was taken to a back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating, “Remain seated at all times” and “Use of telephones strictly prohibited” – my first sign that this was not a voluntary situation and, in fact, a detention.

By this point I had informed CBP Officer Chow, the one that initially detained me, that I was a retired police chief and a career police officer AND a US citizen-he stated that he had no control over the circumstance and that it didn’t matter what my occupation was. He handed my passport off to another CBP officer who was working at one of the desks.

The second CBP officer was indeed kind and appreciated the fact that I was a career police officer and tried to be helpful. He explained that my name was used as an alias by someone on some watch list. He stated that he sent my information to another agency to de-conflict and clear me, so that I could gain passage into the United States….my own country!!!

As I sat in the CBP detention center, numerous, at least 25, foreign nationals were also brought in and quickly released, their detentions were reasonable and appropriate, maybe 5 or so minutes while their passports were checked. I pointed out the irony of this fact to the CBP officer that was attempting to “clear me for entry”.

I told him, as he avoided eye contact, how wrong this scenario was that the only US citizen, career US police officer and chief of police, out of the group of detainees, was the one with the longest unreasonable detention- I was held for an hour and a half. I asked several times, “how long of a detention do you consider to be reasonable?”, the answer I was given by CBP Officer Chow was that I was not being detained-he said that with a straight face.

I then replied, “But I’m not free to leave-how is that not a detention?” I was in a room with no access to my mobile phone to communicate with my wife and family about what was happening, my movements were restricted to a chair and they had my passport………and he had the audacity to tell me I was not being detained.

His ignorance of the law and the Fourth Amendment should disqualify him from being able to wear a CBP badge – but maybe fear and detention is the new mission of the CBP and the Constitution is a mere suggestion. I certainly was not free to leave. As former law enforcement, believe me, I agree that if certain criteria is met, a reasonable investigative detention is not inappropriate-the key here being “reasonable”.

As I continued to sit in the CBP makeshift Detention Center, watching numerous foreign nationals enter my country while I couldn’t, I began thinking about my numerous trips abroad -including five in the past year (all prior to inauguration) – with no problems upon my return and complete with the warm greeting of “Welcome home”.

Fortunately, a CBP officer that had just started her shift took interest in my situation and began to inquire with the “other agency” that was reviewing my information-she aggressively asked them for status updates and eventually called me over to tell me that I was cleared to enter the United States of America. I promptly thanked her and filled her in on how impactful this situation was-she apologized and I was on my way after an hour and a half detention.

I spent nearly 30 years serving the public in law enforcement. Since I retired as the Chief of Police in Greenville, NC, I founded a successful consulting firm that is involved in virtually every aspect of police and criminal justice reform. I interface with high level U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Court officials almost daily. Prior to this administration, I frequently attended meetings at the White House and advised on national police policy reforms-all that to say that If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone with attributes that can be “profiled”. No one is safe from this type of unlawful government intrusion.

As I left the CBP makeshift detention center, I had to go back through security to catch my next flight back to DC, ironically, due to my weekly air travel, I have TSA Pre-check and was whisked through security without a hitch and made my flight by minutes.

This experience has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future of a country that was once great and that I proudly called my own. This experience makes me question if this is indeed home. My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad.

This country now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world – and its own people – in an unprecedented fashion. High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades-it is now hitting the rest of America.

I have contacted my US senators, and my contacts at the NYT and other media sources to continue to tell the story of what is happening in the United States of America.


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Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.

Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

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  1. Greetings Chief Hassan Aden. I am truly sorry for how you felt that day. I know the feeling, you are a proud American and you would have loved nothing more than to collar Bin Laden after 911. I was ready to do anything to bring to justice those responsible for this cowardly act. Your incident de-Americanized you. After all to those who consider themselves the only true Americans your name is Ayrabic, you look Ayrabic and if you are Ayrabic you must be a Muslim, Mozlim, Islamist, etc. and if you are Muslim you must be a terrorist because not all Muslims are terrorist but all terrorists are Muslims. You see a hate crime is ongoing against Muslims by those who whine all the time about the Holocaust, those like Pam Geller, Fox News and others. This is what we face in America as the ones on the low end of the totem pole. It is part of the course. Despite them all most of us came to America for freedom and we love the goodness of its people.

  2. Every cop of color is supposed to feel he is part of the blue, but eventually forcefully finds out otherwise. Take a good look at those goons standing behind him, and that’s the exact right word… GOONS! Take a good long look. That is the true face of “law enforcement”. It always has been in many places. In some small isolated places and small cities you could afford to have an Andy Griffith, or true “New Centurians”, but everywhere else… goons.

    I distinctly remember listening to Walter Cronkite talking about his reporting days, as he bitterly described the “back rooms and rubber truncheons”, and this was in the 40’s! Nothing much changes in reality, just our perceptions of reality, until reality hits you over the head with a club (or a rubber truncheon).

  3. Thanks to VT for publishing his story, I urge the editors to find space for as many other such stories as possible. We have no idea whatsoever if the original claims of officer Crow have any truth to them at all. I would bet if one could do an investigation they were total lies. One can only speculate what these gangsters on the U.S. payroll were doing for an hour and a half. Frankly we must put pressure on government to have a thousand or ten thousand judges at every airports and demand 4th Amendment Hearings be held within 3 minutes of detention or the suspect is immediately released from custody. We must be just as tough with them as they are with us or more so without violating laws to get into the pokey. Stop indulging government. Since the Constitution is not specific it must be assumed that the instant a gangster thug detains someone, that starts the 4th Amendment Clock ticking so they have 3 more minutes to convene a court and judge or release the suspect period. To H with them.

    • Every good honest law abiding American citizen MUST draw a line in the sand that Government cannot cross: The government gangster thugs who are usually criminals themselves or aiding and abetting them must be prevented from assuming that every good honest American Citizen is somehow a guilty thug before the fact or before one iota of proof has been provided to prove such an assumption. We are tired of being treated like criminals because we are not criminals. We pay the taxes. We voluntarily obey all laws. Some of us have even gone to wars for America. We will NOT have our basic Constitutional rights gang raped by gangster thugs on the government payroll. Demand every word of the totally corrupt Patriot Act be abolished today and fire all those whores in Congress who voted for that piece of garbage.

  4. With all respect to Ann and David, this issue transcends skin color, race, ethnicity, and religious affiliation. The Union of Soviet States of America is a police state tyranny based on class, meaning socio-economic class. You can be caucasian, you can be a WASP, but if you are poor and unconnected the Matrix will grind you up like chopped liver. Conversely, it does not matter how black, brown, yellow, or red you are, if you are well heeled you will get your rights and substantive and procedural due process privileges as delineated in the worthless Constitution. Worthless that is, for poor folks. The USSA is a capitalist dung heap and all that matters is money, a lot of it.

    • To a degree, sure. But it’s all so new for the newcomers to the reservation, and certainly Hassan may have sped through security faster with a name like Fitzgerald or McAllister. I am the poor, so for me, not much changes under any leadership. If I didn’t read the news, I wouldn’t even notice. The biggest piece of legislation that would affect me is the state removal of the locks on the dumpsters behind the grocery stores. There is an element of true freedom in being poor. It’s those who SEEK services who notice the most.

    • I fully agree with your take of this situation. My problems reading this story began here,

      “….. that I was a retired police chief and a career police officer AND a US citizen-he stated that he had no control over the circumstance and that it didn’t matter what my occupation was.”

      I have a bit of a problem reading this. Am I to understand that different standards should be applied to Mr. Duff or someone with a similar background ? How about me a regular engineer who travels a lot and is made to feel like he is a potential criminal just waiting to kill someone ? Your on the list, tough luck. Wait your turn and marvel at the insanity.

  5. He can complain all he wants and to whomever he can but nothing is going to change. The government answers to no one and does whatever it wants to whomever it can.

  6. I’m surprised he wasn’t shot!
    Just looking at those three overfed “officers” says a lot.
    Ron Paul was right.

  7. Welcome to the Reservation Hassan. The clown bus has reserved seating for White Christian crusaders but not anyone who denies suffering is good for the soul, suffering of others that is. Muslims, Blacks, Mexicans, and Native Americans are considered a nuisance to be neutralized. Enter the Gorsuch, who with Paula White will be performing the ritual sacrifices necessary to promote hedonism of the few at the expense of the many. To be dutiful, we all need to explore the edible varieties of weeds so we do not burden our saviors with whining about a lack of food or medical care. As for travel, perhaps you didn’t get the memo, when approached by TSA ,” just speak in tongues ” and receive better treatment.

    • ….And be ready to be aggressively groped by an obese, half literate, federal worker who would otherwise be on welfare. Come to think of it the TSA IS a welfare program.Otherwise be forced to undergo being exposed to one of their cancer scanners.

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