No US visa for French musician with Al-Qaeda name
A musician with the French glam rock group Fancy has been refused a visa for the United States probably because he has the same name as a slain Al-Qaeda operative.
PARIS, March 21, 2008 - A musician with the French glam rock group
Fancy has been refused a visa for the United States probably because he has
the same name as a slain Al-Qaeda operative, Fancy's record label said.
Guitarist Mohamed Yamani and the three other band members applied for visas to go on a US tour in March. The three others got their visas in late February but Yamani was refused, a spokesman for the record label Exclaim told AFP.
He said that the US consulate in Paris had declined to give a reason for
the refusal, saying only that US authorities had to "clarify the name" of the
guitarist, who was born in France and holds a French passport.
It was the entourage of the group who spotted Internet information about
Abu Mohamed Al Yamani -- reportedly an Al-Qaeda envoy in Algeria and reported by the Algerian press to have been been killed by security forces in 2006 -- and concluded that the refusal was probably due to the similarity in the two names.
Fancy, which plays a mix of glam rock, funk and soul, had been booked to
support the French electro duo Justice on the US tour.
The band was very disappointed that, aside from the financial loss due to
the cancellation of their tour, they had been deprived of exposure to their
American audience, said the Exclaim spokesman.