Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who castigated Donald Trump's proposed Muslim ban during a heartfelt speech at the Democratic National Convention in July, claimed on Monday that he canceled a scheduled speech in Toronto because his "travel privileges are being reviewed" by the federal government.
But Khan's claim has raised doubts as he has refused to elaborate on what happened.
Khan was originally scheduled to speak at a Ramsay Talks luncheon on Tuesday but announced Monday that he would have to cancel his appearance due to concerns over his travel privileges, the Washington Post reported.
Ramsay Talks, the organizer of the event Khan was to speak at, seemed to take Khan at his word on Monday and included a statement from him in a cancellation post on Facebook. "This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad," said Khan, according to the post. "I have not been given any reason as to why. I am grateful for your support and look forward to visiting Toronto in the near future."
The claim, which does not state which U.S. agency contacted him, immediately raised doubts about how it was possible that a U.S. citizen was being prevented from traveling abroad.
Khan's announcement occurred on the same day that President Trump signed a revised executive order temporarily restricting immigration to the United States from six Muslim-majority countries over terrorism concerns.
Bob Ramsay, who runs Ramsay Talks, said on Tuesday he has little information about Khan's situation.
"I don't know exactly who conducted the review, but in speaking with Mr. Khan, it was certainly U.S. authorities," Ramsay said. "That's all I know."
Khan refused to provide details about his initial statement to the Post and other publications, including a follow-up request for clarification, which did not receive an immediate response on Tuesday afternoon, the Post reported.
It is unclear whether Khan has previously traveled outside the United States since he was naturalized.
U.S. citizens don't need visas to enter Canada, or even the electronic travel authorizations required of all other foreign visitors there. As a general rule, the United States cannot prevent passport-holding citizens from traveling if they have not been charged with a crime. Public records indicate that Khan has no criminal history, either at the federal level, in Charlottesville, where he lives, or in Silver Spring, his previous place of residence. Furthermore, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Politico that, as a rule, it does not contact travelers before their trips.
The Canadian Foreign Ministry also denied issuing any review of Khan's ability to travel there.
"We are unaware of any restrictions regarding this traveler," said Camielle Edwards, spokeswoman for Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.
Khan's son, Humayun Khan, was a University of Virginia graduate and captain in the U.S. Army. He was killed in 2004 while serving in Baqubah, Iraq when an approaching car detonated. Following his death, Khan was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for saving the lives of hundreds of other soldiers who were eating at a nearby mess hall when the bomb exploded.