Katie Hopkins ‘happy US stopped Mahmood family flying to Disneyland’
Last week Mohammed Tariq Mahmood, from Walthamstow, London, was preparing to board a flight with his brother and nine of their children when officials from US Homeland Security stopped them in the departure lounge at Gatwick Airport.
The family, who had spent thousands of pounds on the trip, were told their authorization to travel had been canceled.
Mahmood said his family was “devastated,” adding he did “not know what to tell our kids.”
Supporting US Homeland Security’s decision to stop the family, Hopkins said she wouldn’t have allowed the Mahmoods to fly either, calling them a “mafia.”
In a column for the Mail Online, she said: “If I had been playing my usual game of ‘spot the terrorist’ at the airport, (beard – 5 points, rucksack – 10 points, sandals – 5 points – be honest, you’ve all done it) I’d have been feeling a little anxious.”
The commentator then went on to claim Waltham Forest, the London borough where Mahmood’s family lives, is known to be a “hotbed of extremism.”
“I find it utterly improbable two men with the entire Mahmood clan were travelling without the company of a wife or mother to such a family-orientated destination,” she said.
“Ultimately, Homeland Security don’t mess around, and neither should we,” she told LBC radio on Thursday.
ITV News reported on Wednesday that a Facebook page claiming links to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda was set up by someone who has lived at Mahmood’s postal address.
The account, which lists the job titles “supervisor and Taliban and leader at [Al-Qaeda],” was in the name of “Hamza Hussain,” a first name shared by Mahmood’s 18-year-old son, according to the Daily Star.
The father dismissed these allegations and insisted his family is “normal.”
“We are a normal family. We pay our taxes. We are normal people,” he told the Independent.
Hopkins, however, said she is not “buying [Mahmood’s] story.”
Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron asking why the family had been stopped, having received no response to her inquiries from US authorities.
“If the embassy won’t answer to the family’s MP, it should answer to their prime minister and he to us about what he is doing to ensure that no British citizen is being discriminated against for their faith on our shores,” she wrote in the Guardian.