Pentagon seizes foreign reporter’s phone during official travel


The Pentagon seized a foreign reporter’s phone and would not allow him to use his electronics while traveling with the Defense Department’s No. 2 official on Sunday, according to a person on the trip and an email viewed by POLITICO.

After this article was published on Monday, the reporter identified himself on Twitter as Reuters’ Idrees Ali, who has covered the Pentagon for six years and accompanied top officials on dozens of trips. He is not a U.S. citizen.

Ali tweeted a photo of the confiscated phone.

“This policy was the first time I had experienced this after covering dozens of Pentagon trips across three administrations. It means that we can’t do the very thing I’m supposed to on these trips, which is write stories,” Ali wrote. Ali is not a U.S. citizen.

Before boarding the plane at Joint Base Andrews Sunday morning, Ali was told of a new rule mandating that foreigners flying on Air Force planes using top secret classification would be prohibited from using their electronics on the flight.


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