Two British tourists were denied entry into the United States last week because one had posted on Twitter that the pair were planning to "destroy America" and dig up Marilyn Monroe.
"Free this week for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?" Leigh Van Bryan, 26, publicly tweeted to a friend on Jan. 16, according to London's Daily Mail.
On Jan. 3, he tweeted to another friend: "3 weeks today, we're totally in LA [teeing] people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!"
Someone at the Department of Homeland Security must be monitoring Twitter for terrorist threats, because Van Bryan and his female friend Emily Banting, 24, were taken aside by armed federal agents shortly after arriving on an Air France flight at Los Angeles International Airport Jan. 23.
Van Bryan and Bunting, both from the Birmingham metropolitan area in central England, told the Daily Mail and its rival the Sun that they were tossed into holding cells with "illegal immigrants" and interrogated separately.
"The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist, Van Bryan told the Sun. "I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me 'You've really [messed] up with that tweet, boy.'"
"They asked me if I was going to be Leigh's lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe," Banting told the Daily Mail. "The officials searched our suitcases and said they were looking for spades and shovels."
The unlucky pair said they pointed out to the authorities that "destroy" meant "party hard" and that "digging up Marilyn Monroe" referred to a joke from the Fox TV series "Family Guy," but to no avail.
Banting and Van Bryan were put into a van with what the London tabloids called "illegal immigrants" and hauled to an immigration jail, where Van Bryan, an Irish national, was locked up with "Mexican drug dealers" who ate his prison meal, leaving him with only apple juice.
Twelve hours later, the pair were taken back to LAX, given papers refusing them entry into the U.S. and put on the next flight back to Paris, their previous port of call.
British and Irish nationals, along with citizens of 36 other countries, mostly in Western Europe, do not normally need a pre-approved visa to enter the United States.
The Daily Mail posted a photograph of Van Bryan's entry refusal form.
"Mr. Bryan was referred for being a match to a One Day Lookout," the form states, possibly referring to the National Automated Immigration Lookout System, which flags unwanted visitors to the U.S. before they arrive.
"Mr. Bryan confirmed that he had posted on his Tweeter [sic] website account that he was coming to the United States to dig up the grave of Marilyn Monroe," the form noted. "Also on his Tweeter account Mr. Bryan posted that he was coming to destroy America."
Banting and Van Bryan were told that they'd have to apply for visas from the U.S. Embassy in London before attempting to enter the U.S. again.