When the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, it is well known that 15 of the 19 hijackers involved were from Saudi Arabia.
In the wake of the questionable decision by the TSA earlier this month to allow small knives and other sharp objects on board flights, Fox News is reporting that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to extend a program intended to give “trusted traveler” status to low-risk airline passengers to include Saudi travelers.
Only an exclusive handful of countries enjoy inclusion in the Global Entry program — Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the Netherlands. Travelers cleared through the program are able to bypass normal customs line after providing passports and fingerprints.
The quietly announced decision is prompting real concern as noted in a report issued Wednesday by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, according to Fox News.
“I think you have radical Wahhabism in certain elements in Saudi Arabia, and I think to be more lenient there than in other places would be a mistake,” Rep. Frank Wolf told the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
“There were 15 [hijackers] from that country, and there is a lot taking place in that region.”
As a result of the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt in 2009, Saudi Arabia was placed on a list of countries whose U.S.-bound travelers would face higher scrutiny, but Napolitano spoke of “the bond between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” when she announced the change in January.
“By enhancing collaboration with the government of Saudi Arabia, we reaffirm our commitment to more effectively secure our two countries against evolving threats while facilitating legitimate trade and travel,” Napolitano said.
Perhaps, “Big Sis” will someday view “patriot” groups in American with such affinity.
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