A South Florida minister says he is afraid to try to get on an airplane because he thinks he’s been placed on a terrorist watch list.
Ronnie McFadden, a pastor at the Missionary Evangelist Outreach Center in Miami, said he went to the Social Security Administration after Christmas to try and get a check that has been missing for several years sent to him.
“I went in, I got the Social Security card. No one told me my name was on a terrorist list or a watch or a banned list,” he said.
But McFadden said he soon learned from the government that his name had been placed on a terrorist watch list.
“But they said I was on a banned list and I can't be nowhere present in the United States in a Social Security office – matter of fact in the government buildings, and I called and they said not even on the airplanes,” he said.
McFadden showed NBC 6 South Florida the letter he sent to Social Security saying that he had been unaware that his name was placed on such a list. He discovered the trouble in December, he said.
McFadden also provided the Social Security Administration’s reply to him earlier this month. It said that McFadden was banned from entering any Social Security office in October 2008, and that the agency accepts appeals on ban decisions starting Sept. 6, 2011.
“Because we banned you before that date, you cannot appeal your ban. We will not consider your appeal,” the Social Security Administration said in its letter.
It appears from the message that McFadden’s trouble stems from a verbal disagreement he had with a Social Security worker five years ago. McFadden said he had no idea the report of the encounter could land him on a watch list with other federal agencies.
Now, the pastor said, he is afraid to even try to fly, and won’t go to the airport.
McFadden, who is a born-again Christian, said he is willing to forgive and move on, if he can get the problem has with the government solved.
As for the check for more than a thousand dollars, McFadden said he could use the money – but what’s more important for him is clearing his name.
“Hopefully they can rectify the situation, take my name off this terrorist list, where I can be free and not looking over my head and my shoulder,” he said.
NBC 6 South Florida attempted to determine exactly what McFadden’s status with the government is. But the Social Security Administration's policies prevent disclosing any information about a Social Security cardholder, and the agency that runs the terror watch list doesn't give out specifics.
The letter from the Social Security Administration to McFadden told him he can appeal in September 2014.