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Brit pair deported from US for 'destroy America' tweet

Also intended to disinter Marilyn Monroe, Homeland Security claims

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A couple of Brits were unceremoniously ejected from the US last week after one of them ill-advisedly tweeted he was off to "destroy America".

Leigh Van Bryan, 26, and pal Emily Bunting, 24, jetted into Los Angeles last Monday ahead of what they hoped would be a lively Stateside holiday. Their shorter-than-expected trip certainly delivered, although the pair weren't expecting to be arrested, internally probed and thrown in a cell for 12 hours with hungry Mexican narcos.

The Department of Homeland Security had already earmarked Van Bryan and Bunting for a warm welcome before they even touched down at LAX. The agency had picked up on a couple of Van Bryan's tweets, which suggested they intended to wipe out the US and disinter Marilyn Monroe.

The first, posted on 3 January, said: "3 weeks today, we're totally in LA pissing people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!"

The second, written on 16 January, declared: "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America."

Van Bryan and Bunting had their collars felt after clearing passport control. They were first quizzed for five hours, during which they failed to convince the authorities of the innocent nature of the tweets.

According to the Daily Mail, Bunting said: "The officials told us we were not allowed in to the country because of Leigh's tweet. They wanted to know what we were going to do. They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party.

"I almost burst out laughing when they asked me if I was going to be Leigh's lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe. I couldn't believe it because it was a quote from the comedy Family Guy which is an American show."

She added: "It got even more ridiculous because the officials searched our suitcases and said they were looking for spades and shovels. They did a full body search on me too."

Van Bryan described the ordeal as "almost funny" but "really scary". He said: "The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist. I kept saying to them they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me 'you've really fucked up with that tweet boy'."

The two then spent the night in jail, where the Mexican drug cartels put Van Bryan on involuntary hunger strike. He explained: "When we arrived at the prison I was shoved in a cell on my own but after an hour two huge Mexican men covered in tattoos came in and started asking me who I was.

"They told me they'd been arrested for taking cocaine over the border. When the food arrived on the tray they took it all and just left me with a carton of apple juice."

Van Bryan and Bunting were deported back to the UK the next day. Van Bryan's rap sheet, explaining why he was refused entry, says: "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. Also on his tweeter account Mr Bryan posted that he was coming to destroy America." ®

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