A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security in the USA has promised that there will be a ‘complete and thorough investigation’ after it emerged that the county of Essex had been accidentally added to the USA’s list of TERRORIST NATIONS. 

The blunder means that residents of Essex may find it ‘incredibly difficult’ to enter the USA for the next three months while the mistake is dealt with on intelligence computer systems that are shared by all sections of the US government. 

DHS representative Kablamo Kapowski spoke to Southend News Network to ‘personally apologise’ for the mix-up, and he added that a junior employee was to blame for the mistake involving protocols for recognising skin tone and making links to terrorist potential. 

Mr Kapowski said: ‘In the first instance, It is US protocol to allocate a risk level of terrorism based upon the skin colour of people that are native within the area, and on this occasion it would appear that a junior DHS employee has based this assessment upon viewing a few episodes of The Only Way Is Essex.’

‘Unfortunately, the employee in question remarked that all of the people on display had a skin tone resting half-way between Pakistani and the little guy off the Robinson’s Jam label. As the self-tan error wasn’t flagged in time, it is with regret that we confirm that Essex has been wrongly added to our internal list of terrorist nations.’

‘It could take up to 12 weeks for the mistake to be rectified, and to make matters worse the employee has now been dismissed because he tried to cover up his mistake by informing the CIA that depleted uranium stocks were being hidden at the disused nuclear power station in Bradwell.’

‘Anyone with an Essex postcode will have to expect severe delays when arriving at the US border until January at the earliest, and automatically-issued cavity searches are already underway that we are powerless to stop. Although a number of these searches have led to abnormal discoveries, I can confirm that none of these are related to terrorism.’

‘We are also working incredibly hard to get fifteen nationals of Canvey Island released from Guantanamo Bay who were wrongly imprisoned six months ago for speaking in a dialect that couldn’t be identified by our border force officers. Upon further analysis it emerged that it was English.’

The news will come at the worst possible time for the USA on a political and diplomatic level, with residents voting in the presidential election to see if they want to be punched in the testicles or kicked incredibly hard in the testicles.