What Happened to Canadian Sci-Fi Writer Amal El-Mohtar's Phone at US Customs?

Amal El-Mohtar is a Canadian poet and writer of speculative fiction/science fiction. She has published short fiction, poetry, essays and reviews, and has edited the poetry quarterly magazine Goblin Fruit since 2006. On her way to the US on Friday, she was detained by border security, even after having been detained and cleared back in May.

What Happened to Canadian Sci-Fi Writer Amal El-Mohtar's Phone at US Customs?
Photo by Sanna Pudas via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)

El-Mohtar won Locus Awards in 2015 for The Truth About Owls and the Nebula Award, the Locus Award and the Hugo Award in 2017 for Seasons of Glass and Iron, and was nominated for further Nebula Awards and World Fantasy Awards. On Friday arrived at Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport planning to travel to the US and encountered US Customs Pre-Clearance. It was busy but there were cute distractions.

It started so well. And then…

Three and a half hours later, Amal tweeted again. She has given Bleeding Cool permission to collate her tweeted experience.

With some further explanation…

As to her phone, the suggestion is that it may have been backdoored by US security services. There may, of course, be other explanations, but advice given by concerned friends is to get rid of it and buy another…

Thanks to Stu West for typo fix.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.