web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘TSA’

Noted Author Reading The Jewish Press Detained at JFK

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Perhaps it is a coincidence that it happened to be The Jewish Press that caught the attention of security officials at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 5, but that fact certainly caught the attention of The Jewish Press reporters.

Phyllis Chesler, one of the doyennes of the feminist movement, professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at CUNY, ardent Zionist, and author, most recently of An American Bride in Kabul, which won the National Jewish Book Award for memoir this year, was traveling from New York to Florida Wednesday afternoon.

Chesler’s flight was delayed due to the ice storm. Still, she felt somewhat lucky, as most of the flights were cancelled.

As she waited, Chesler pulled out the latest edition of The Jewish Press, which she had with her.

Chesler noticed that as soon as she took out the paper, one of the security agents looked at her sharply. He came over and asked to see her newspaper. After looking at the cover, the agent then took The Jewish Press and brought it over to another security agent. The two agents then had a discussion, apparently about the newspaper and about Chesler. She was then told to open her luggage, which the agents proceeded to search.

While Chesler’s luggage was being rifled through and she was being interrogated, she noticed another woman stride unmolested past her and the security agents, and disappear on through to her destination.

The woman who sailed through without being stopped was dressed in a niqab. The niqab is an Islamic head covering which covers a woman’s entire face except for the eyes.

niqab.jpg Chesler recounted that she saw no one in security ask this other woman – whose face was impossible to see – to lift her veil so that they might check her facial features against her identifying documents. The unidentifiable woman went right past security, no questions asked.

Chesler’s interrogation ended after the security agents found nothing more dangerous than a water bottle.

The episode was relatively brief, but it reveals a great deal about who security agents at JFK airport think is dangerous and from what they are protecting Americans.

The issue is not that the Jew was the one who was stopped and the Muslim was the one who sailed through security.

The issue is that merely the word Jewish on a newspaper was sufficient to draw the agents’ attention and suspicion, while someone whose identity was impossible to discern, who could be hiding who knows what, was ignored by security – security! professionals.

Had the situation been reversed, there is little question that the Committee on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), would be up in arms. So would the American Civil Liberties Union and probably half a dozen Jewish organizations. But in this real life situation, a Jewish woman was stopped as a potential security threat in an airport in New York because she was reading a Jewish newspaper.

Will anyone be up in arms?

 

Shooting at Los Angeles Airport, at Least One Dead

Friday, November 1st, 2013

What is being described as a “lone gunman,” walked into Los Angeles Airport Terminal 3 on Friday, Nov. 1, removed an assault rifle from his bag, and “began to open fire in the terminal,” according to Los Angeles Airport Police officer Patrick Gannon.

“He proceeded up into the screening area where Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners are and continued shooting and went past the screeners back into the airport itself.

“Officers from Los Angeles Airport Police responded immediately to the calls. They tracked the individual through the airport and engaged him in gunfire in Terminal 3 and were able to successfully take him into custody.”

An initial, unconfirmed report from NBC News named the shooter as 23-year-old U.S. citizen Paul Anthony Ciancia.

According to initial reports, at least seven people were wounded, six of whom were taken to area hospitals. One TSA agent was killed.

Three male victims were taken to UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Lynne McCullough briefed reporters about the condition of those victims. Dr. McCullough said two of the three victims had received multiple gunshots. It was unclear what caused the injuries of the third victim.  The injuries were described as severe, although not life-threatening.  One of the three was listed in critical situation.

Many flights were either delayed or cancelled.  Passengers in Terminal 3 were evacuated. In addition, road closures in the area contributed to enormous traffic congestion.  Streams of people were shown leaving the airport with their luggage, on foot.

The shooting incident began at approximately 9:20 a.m. local time.

US Pilots Warn: Terrorists Trying ‘Dry Runs’ for New 9/11

Monday, October 14th, 2013

The U.S. Airline Pilots Association is warning that terrorists are practicing dry runs under the eyes of federal marshals to carry out a mega-terror attack, and a one marshal told a Florida media outlet that the Transportation Security Administration is “lying” when it says it takes all reports of suspicious activity aboard aircraft seriously.

Two recent incidents have spiked fears that terrorists boarded flights to test their ability to stage another 9/11, and in one case, a pilot’s insistence not to fly before a thorough inspection of the plane resulted in discovering “evidence of tampering.”

The pilots’ memo from last month has been circulated and states that on a flight on the Orlando, Florida-Washington route, one “Middle Eastern” man leaped up from his seat towards the flight deck door and then made a sharp turn to head for the bathroom, where he remained “for a considerable length of time.”

At the same time, three other men with similar Middle Eastern features began changing seats, opening overhead compartments and generally “making a scene,” possibly with the intention of distracting flight attendants.

Tampa, Florida’s WTSP channel said the airline, US Airways, and the Transportation Security Administration confirmed the incident. The station reported that the FSA “takes all reports of suspicious activity aboard aircraft seriously, and the matter requires no further investigation at this time. “

However, a flight marshal, who obviously could not reveal his name, told WTSP that TSA claims that they investigate every case and take all of them seriously are lies. “They’re liars. They’re flat out liars,” he said. He explained that federal officials are hiding the truth there are problems with investigations of terror.

Industry “insiders” were reported as saying, “We’re waiting for the next 9/11 to happen, because it’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.”

Investigators concluded that the incident on the Washington-Orlando flight was not a dry run and that there was no evidence of a threat.

However, after the plane landed in Orlando, the pilot refused to fly the plane again without a thorough inspection, despite US Airways officials insisting that it was not necessary. The pilot won the argument, and according to the pilots’ memo, “Guess what? Evidence of tampering was found.”

The second incident that worries the pilots occurred when several Middle Eastern women boarded a flight  while dressed head-to-foot in Muslim clothing including the veil. One passenger, who reportedly was a “significant VIP,” decided to forego flying on the plane when he discovered there were no air marshals on board.

The pilots said they accepted TSA  findings that the women were not terrorists carrying out a dry run.

Have a nice flight.

TSA and Customs Issue Etrog Travel Advisories

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. authorities released travel guidelines for Sukkot.

“TSA’s screening procedures do not prohibit the carrying of the four plants used during Sukkot – a palm branch, myrtle twigs, willow twigs, and a citron – in airports, through or security checkpoints, or on airplanes,” the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement, noting the dates of this year’s Sukkot holiday, from Sept. 18-25.

The TSA notice said, however, that all passengers undergo security screening at checkpoints.

In a separate statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection also noted that the four species were allowed entry, but noted a number of restrictions subject to inspection.

“Travelers will be asked to open the container with the ethrog and unwrap it,” its advisory stated. “The agriculture specialist will inspect the ethrog. If either insect stings or pests are found, the ethrog will be prohibited from entering the United States. If neither is found, the traveler will be allowed to rewrap and re-box the ethrog for entry into the United States.”

Twigs of willow from Europe are banned, it continued, and any sign of pests or disease will mean confiscation of the product.
In a press statement noting the allowances, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who directs American Friends of Lubavitch, also urged observant Jews to cooperate with airline staff and authorities, for instance when praying aboard aircraft.

“Particularly, one should let flight attendants know if they will be davening in flight BEFORE they begin, and understand the implications, as well as potential prosecution, for ignoring requests to sit down when requested, etc.,” said Shemtov, who consulted with Rabbi Abba Cohen, the director of the Washington office for Agudath Israel of America, in setting out the guidelines. “For example, flight attendants do not usually understand ‘nu,’ ‘uh,’ and hand signals, etc. especially when you are already in tallis and tefillin.”

Shemtov told JTA that religious Jews should appreciate the efforts of travel authorities to facilitate their travel.

“We in the Jewish community are fortunate to live with an unprecedented level of personal liberty,” he said. “I hope everyone will appreciate that cooperation with authorities that are so sympathetic to our traditions is the least we can do in return.”

Kissinger Gets Felt Up by the TSA

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger., who’s turning 89 this month (may we suggest holiday in Vietnam?), was spotted last Friday at LaGuardia airport in New York, getting routed to the pat-down line while going through security, reports the Washington Post “In the Loop” section.

After asking Kissinger his name as he passed through the scanner, the agent sent him to be searched. Kissinger was in a wheelchair. In the search area, Kissinger was subjected to what “the full Monty” of the usual groping.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Coincidences And Happenings

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

To this day, this true story makes the hairs on my neck stand up straight. It’s a story whereby too many “coincidences” just “happened.”

There are some Jewish rites that are practiced by few to benefit many. The many have little if any knowledge about these rites. Literature is scarce, and the topic is usually avoided.

For nontraditional Jews, following Jewish rituals and rites may seem antiquated, useless, or unnecessary. These Jews often forgo our traditions, feeling they do not apply to them.

But it is quite enlightening to learn that practicing tradition may truly affect another soul – observant or not – in a positive way.

A sacred tradition known as taharah (ritually preparing a body for burial) has almost always been done by the Chevra Kadisha, the Holy Burial Society. The society is often secretive.

Chevra members do this work for their love of tradition, Judaism and our fellow human beings, and a belief that we need to tend to the neshamah of the meit.

Miracles, luck, coincidences – everything happens for a reason.

And now my story:

A Chabad rabbi told me by phone that he had just received an odd phone call from a female stranger in Israel. The woman asked the rabbi for help, not for herself but for her best friend from New Jersey. This friend, whose husband was not Jewish, had just died after being very ill.

Both women cherished their Jewishness and traditions. The friend was beside herself with grief and fear, grief for the loss of her friend and fearful that the non-Jewish husband would not provide a Jewish funeral for her.

The caller implored the rabbi to get in touch with the husband of the deceased. Coincidentally, the husband was home and took the rabbi’s call. After their chat, the rabbi called me. Coincidentally, I was home. (I’m usually at work on that day of the week.)

As part of the rabbi’s promise to try to ensure a Jewish burial, and with the permission of the husband, the rabbi asked me for a metaher for the deceased woman. The rabbi was aware that I am a member of a chevra kadisha. It was quite the coincidence that enough female chevra members were home to answer the calls and available to perform this mitzvah on such short notice. We completed the taharah and went our separate ways.

Several weeks passed and, as we frequently do, my husband and I visited my 93-year-old aunt. Our usual routine is to get there in late morning, have brunch, schmooze for about an hour, and return home.

As we were finishing brunch two elderly ladies, walkers in hands, came to wish my aunt a happy birthday as – coincidentally – that day was her birthday. A few minutes later another elderly lady, this one in a wheelchair and with her aide, came to express her birthday wishes.

The small room was now crowded, so we left in order to allow my aunt to spend time with her friends.

Because we left earlier than usual, we were now one hour ahead of schedule. So when I noticed a kosher butcher shop a block from my aunt’s home, I was curious to see if it offered better prices or cuts than the place where I usually shop. I went inside to check it out.

Huge glass windows allowed me to see inside the shop from the street. I could see the woman standing behind the long counter, and she was preoccupied with a computer screen. The screen was tilted in a direction not visible to me as I stood at the entrance.

After not finding anything of interest in the shop, I headed back to the door where I was able to see the computer screen. Various trips, tours and flights were displayed on the screen. Coincidentally, just a few weeks earlier I had turned in my tickets for a trip to Israel because the airport had just instituted the new controversial TSA policies – rules I oppose. Seeing the ads regarding trips on the computer caused me to blurt out, “Oh, I just turned in my tickets for a trip.” When the woman asked me, “Where were you going to go?” I heard her accent and quickly asked her where she was from. After responding that she was from Israel, I said, “What a coincidence, that is where I was to have traveled.”

She looked very sad and I asked her how long she has been here, thinking she was homesick. She told me that a few weeks ago, while she was in Israel, her best friend died. Her friend, who had been quite sick, had confided to her that she wanted a traditional Jewish funeral but was not confident that her non-Jewish husband could or would make that happen. She shared with me that she has trouble sleeping at night, not knowing what actually happened to her friend. Her voice trembled as she told me that while she was in Israel and learned of her friend’s passing, she went so far as to call a New Jersey Chabad rabbi hoping he could help.

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Monday, March 29th, 2010

   The executive director of an activist organization modeled after Marxist community organizer Saul Alinsky was part of the team that developed a volunteers camp for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, this column has learned.
 
   Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that organized the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama’s campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. Camp Obama was a two-to-four day intensive course, run in conjunction with Obama’s campaign, aimed at training volunteers to become activists to help Obama win the presidential election.
 

   Camp Obama served as an integral part of the president’s campaign volunteer staff.

   Last week, this column reported that a Chicago nonprofit on which Obama served as director provided startup capital and later funding to Midwest Academy, which describes itself as dedicated to teaching the tactics of Alinsky.
 
   Former 1960s radical and FrontPageMagazine Editor David Horowitz describes Alinsky as the “communist/Marxist fellow-traveler who helped establish the dual political tactics of confrontation and infiltration that characterized the 1960s and have remained central to all subsequent revolutionary movements in the United States.”
 

   Horowitz writes that Alinsky’s “strategy of working within the system until you can accumulate enough power to destroy it was what sixties radicals called ‘boring from within.’ … Like termites, they set about to eat away at the foundations of the building in expectation that one day they could cause it to collapse.”

 

Obama Friend: Socialism Has Future In U.S.
 
   A personal friend and recent adviser to President Obama addressed a socialist conference at which he declared “socialism has a future” while urging participants to help Obama.
 
   Cornel West, an extremist race-relations instructor at Princeton, addressed the 10th annual Young Democratic Socialists conference earlier this month. The three-day event took place at Norman Thomas High School in Manhattan, named after an American socialist activist.
 
   The meeting, entitled “Real change for a change,” described itself as a “snap shot of the current socialist movement in the United States.”
 

   During a lengthy address available on YouTube, West declared that “socialism has a future.”

   He stated, “We are at a very crucial historical moment. My dear friend Barack Obama, he needs help. He needs deep help. He needs pressure. Organized, mobilized pressure.”
 
   Obama named West, whom he has called a personal friend, to the Black Advisory Council of his presidential campaign. West was a key point man between Obama’s campaign and the black community.
 
   West served as an adviser on Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March and is a self-described personal friend of the Nation of Islam leader. West authored two books on race with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, who was at the center of a recent controversy in which Obama criticized Gates’s treatment by police outside his home after a report of a burglary.
 
   It was West who introduced Obama at a 2007 Harlem fundraiser attended by about 1,500 people that served as Obama’s first foray into Harlem after announcing his Democratic presidential candidacy. West introduced Obama on stage at the fundraiser after first railing against the “racist” criminal-justice system of the “American empire.”
 

   Obama, upon taking the stage after West’s introduction, expressed his gratitude to West, calling him “not only a genius, a public intellectual, a preacher, an oracle … he’s also a loving person.”

 

Van Jones’s Radical Green Friends

 

   Van Jones, President Obama’s former “green jobs” czar and newly appointed Princeton lecturer, has teamed up with a coalition of extremists to push an environmental activist agenda to “transform the American economy” and bring about “social change.”
 
   The groups working with Jones have been described as using the tactics of guerrilla communication, agitation and disruption techniques. One organization working alongside Jones, the radical Earth First! environmentalist group, has a history of violence and sabotage.
 
   Green For All, an activist group founded and directed by Jones, joined the Energy Action Coalition, which is composed of a slew of extremist organizations, including the Ruckus Society, which states that it provides “hands-on direct action tactical skills and strategy at [its] training camps,” or will bring its training to your location.
 

   Also in the Coaliton is Earth First!, which, according to Discover the Networks is a “radical environmentalist group with a long history of violence and sabotage.” It “pioneered sabotage tactics like tree sitting and tree spiking to thwart logging and development.”

 

Two Up, Two Down For TSA Post

 

   President Obama’s pick to head the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his nomination late Friday night, making him the second of Obama’s nominees for the post to fail to win confirmation.
 
   Retired Gen. Robert Harding blamed “distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor” that would “not be good for this administration, nor for the Department of Homeland Security.”
 
   This reporter was first to break the storythat Harding serves on the board of a corporation that raised millions to do business with companies positioned in growing areas of the federal budget.
 
   Questions were also raised about a multimillion-dollar government contract Harding’s company was awarded in 2004 to provide private interrogators to Iraqi prisons for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
 
   That contract was terminated in 2005, triggering an audit that found that Harding’s company double-billed the government for more than $860,000. It ultimately reimbursed the government more than $2 million.
 
   Harding for his part said he withdrew his nomination “with deep regret.”
 
   Harding’s private contract dealings could have become a hot button of controversy as the Senate geared up to consider his bid for the TSA.
 
   Obama’s original pick for the TSA job, Erroll Southers, withdrew his name from considerationin January over Republican concern Southers would attempt to unionize TSA security agents.
 

   This journalist was also first to report that Southers had boasted to a major union that he looked forward to “joining” with them to add value to TSA security.

 

   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 77-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2:00-4:00.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/quick-takes-news-you-may-have-missed-36/2010/03/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: