The United States embassy in London summoned a three-month- old baby to see whether he is a
terrorist or not.
The child’s grandfather mistakenly identified the infant as a terrorist on a travel form, and
authorities declined to simply accept his grandfather’s word as it was an error, reports The Guardian
Harvey Kenyon-Cairns, the baby had been due to fly to Orlando in Florida for his first overseas
holiday, until his grandfather Paul Kenyon made the error on a visa waiver form.
On the part of the Esta form which reads ‘Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in
terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?’ Kenyon ticked yes instead of no.
He only learned of his error when his 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 said.
The baby was taken from his home in Poynton, Cheshire in Britain, to the embassy in Grosvenor
Square of London, to be questioned by officials. The round trip took about 10 hours, longer than the
nine-and- a-half- hour flight time from Manchester to Orlando.
‘Baby Harvey was good as gold for the interview and never cried once. I thought about taking him
along in an orange jumpsuit, but thought better of it,’ said Kenyon. ‘They didn’t appear to have a
sense of humour over it at all and couldn’t see the funny side.’
‘He’s obviously never engaged in genocide, or espionage, but he has sabotaged quite a few nappies
in his time, though I didn’t tell them that at the US embassy.’
The mess-up cost Kenyon an extra £3,000 (US$3,760), as the new visa didn’t arrive in time for the
He flew out to his holiday villa with his wife, Cathy, and his granddaughter Ava on the scheduled
date, but Harvey and his parents, Faye Kenyon-Cairns and her partner John Cairns, had to fly out
separately a few days later.
‘It was a very expensive mistake, but I was hoping the US embassy would realise that it was just a
simple error without us having to jump through all the hoops,’ said Kenyon.
He added ‘If you were a terrorist, I suspect you’d not be ticking yes on the Esta form anyway.’