Advertisements
jump to navigation

US airport security leak: extra security for certain Arabs 9, December 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

The fact that Arab nationals undergo extra checks at US airports is hardly breaking news. Yet, now and for the first time (so far as I know…) the policy itself of which nationalities are deemed necessary for extra checks has leaked out of the US Transport Security Administration. Here’s the relevant bit:

If the individual’s photo ID is a passport issued by the Government of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen or Algeria, refer the individual for selectee screening unless the individual has been exempted from selectee screening by the FSD or aircraft operator.

Given that the vast majority of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, that Saudi Arabia is still today a font of – to put it nicely – austere and strict Islamic teachings, the kind of which was indisputably a crucial factor in the 9/11 attacks and countless others besides, and that Saudi Arabia underwent a wave of terrorist bombings only a few years before this document became policy, it is surprising to note that Saudi citizens were not singled out for extra security.

Presumably, there must have been significant diplomatic pressure on US authorities not to add Saudi citizens to such a list. This can surely be the only explanation.

This information leak came to light after a report was released in which the blacking-out had not been done correctly. Not long afterward, someone posted the clean document on Cryptome.org for the world to see. US officials have reacted with relative nonchalance, simply saying that while it is regrettable, procedures are constantly changing and no truly important details were leaked.

Advertisements