June 1, 2007
A newly-released inspector general report supports accounts by witnesses of suspicious behavior by thirteen Middle Eastern men on a Northwest Airlines flight three years ago. It also reveals several missteps by government officials, including failure to file an incident report until a month after the matter had become public.
The Washington Times reports that the men appear to have been on a terror dry run, checking out possible security weaknesses they could exploit.
According to the homeland security report, the suspicious passengers – 12 Syrians and a Lebanese man -- were aboard a flight from Detroit to Los Angeles. They were said to be a musical group, but they scattered throughout the plane instead of sitting together.
After the flight, immigration extended their visas for another week. Eight of the twelve were found to have criminals backgrounds or were reported for other suspicious behavior.
An air marshal is quoted in the times story as saying security agencies have covered-up numerous terror probes and dry-runs. Now here’s something that truly demands a congressional investigation.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.