July 10, 2008, - 11:47 am

O’Hare Airport Worker Was Hezbo, Tried to Smuggle Weapons; Kudos to You, ICE Agents!

By Debbie Schlussel
On this site, I’ve repeatedly decried the fact that we don’t screen airport workers at all. They don’t go through security the way passengers do. This allowed airport workers to successfully smuggle arms and drugs on board planes without detection. And it’s a policy rife with opportunities for Muslim airport workers to take advantage of, to our peril.
Now, my stated fears have come to fruition. And if we don’t both screen these people and profile Muslims out of such jobs, we will get more and more of this:

It might have looked like easy money to O’Hare International Airport worker Riad Skaff: $26,500 to help smuggle night-vision goggles, rifle scopes and cash aboard Paris-bound jets.

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But the payment was part of a federal sting operation that netted Skaff, 69, a two-year prison sentence handed down Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Joan B. Gottschall.
The judge brushed aside the claim by defense attorney Robert G. Clarke that Skaff was an unsophisticated laborer who didn’t belong in the same category with big-time international arms smugglers.
“I don’t see this offense as trivial – I see this as a very serious offense,” the judge said. She dismissed the claim that Skaff was merely trying to make money and did not intend to jeopardize national security by agreeing to help smuggle military scopes and goggles.
Skaff is a naturalized American citizen born in Lebanon. He formerly was employed by a company that services Air France jetliners.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested him in January 2007.
Federal prosecutors said he pocketed a total of $26,500 from an undercover ICE agent in return for agreeing to smuggle night-vision scopes, goggles, a cell phone jammer and $396,000 in cash, aboard three outbound planes.
Skaff pleaded guilty to all nine counts in the indictment.
His attorney lobbied for a sentence of probation with no prison time, saying that Skaff was in “delicate health and he is of very old age.” He said his client’s ailments include diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and swelling of the legs and feet.
The judge said she might have given Skaff a stiffer sentence if not for his health woes.

Kudos to the ICE agents involved in the sting, who showed up the incompetent TSA and its obvious vulnerability. This time it was, fortunately, ICE agents. Next time, it could be Hezbollah.
FYI, Skaff, is a Shi’ite Muslim surname, common to Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon. And apparently, this guy is not different from the rest of his family.

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3 Responses

When I lived in Korea, they would ALWAYS profile. If there were any Muslim-looking passengers at the airport, they would immediately be frisked and their bags searched. Amen to that.
But here, where we are the target, liberals actually try to hire Muslims as pilots, stewardesses, and Customs officials.
At Newark airport last year, the customs official deciding who would enter and be searched was Muslim. Hello?! Two weeks ago, on a Continental express flight from Cleveland, the only stewardess was a Muslim (and very rude to passengers, too). How many Muslim pilots are Muslim pressure groups ordering airlines to hire?
I say the next 9/11 is going to happen with Muslim crew members, aided by Muslim DHS officials, and Muslim TSA employees.
If pilots are allowed to carry guns onto planes and lock cabin doors, that means that MUSLIM pilots are allowed to carry guns and lock cabin doors because they refuse to do any profiling in hiring decisions.

Gabe on July 10, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I used to work for an airline prior to 9/11.
I was given an airport badge to a major airport in this country. This badge allowed me access anywhere in the airport and to anything that was “attached” (i.e. a plane that was still at the gate) although I still needed to be escorted to go out on the tarmac if I needed to be out there.
If I came in through employee parking, I did not have to go through security at all. We were told that we could be “spot checked” by security, but we had the right to refuse the check. If we did refuse, the only penalty was that we would lose the badge. However, no law abiding citizen would mind the spot check, and if I was a terrorist on my way to do something I would not be coming back to work again anyway.
The airport did not do a background check on me. In fact, they relied on the fact that my employer had done a background check on me. The only background check my employer did was when they first hired me and that consisted only of whatever check they would do when they hired a new employee.
I don’t know if this is still the case, but that is how it was prior to 9/11.

I_am_me on July 10, 2008 at 12:56 pm

“I say the next 9/11 is going to happen with Muslim crew members, aided by Muslim DHS officials, and Muslim TSA employees.”
Add, and aided possibly with a Muslim president. Allah be praised! /Sarcasm

Jackson Pearson on July 10, 2008 at 12:58 pm

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