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Say it Ain’t So: People Who Pose National Security Risk Retain Aviation License

Jet

It never ceases to amaze how many things still slip through the cracks in the post-9/11 era. Things like this obviously shouldn’t slip through the cracks. As Ricky Ricardo would say, the government has some “splainin to do”.

By MATTHEW L. WALD
New York Times
WASHINGTON — At least six men suspected or convicted of crimes that threaten national security retained their federal aviation licenses, despite antiterrorism laws written after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that required license revocation. Among them was a Libyan sentenced to 27 years in prison by a Scottish court for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.

In response to questions from The New York Times, the Transportation Security Administration, which is supposed to root out such individuals, announced that the Federal Aviation Administration suspended the licenses on Thursday.

The two agencies appeared to be unaware that the men were among the nearly one million people licensed as pilots, mechanics and flight dispatchers. They were identified by a tiny family-owned company in Mineola, N.Y., demonstrating software it developed to scrub lists of bank customers for terrorism links.

The list also includes an Iranian-American convicted of trying to send jet fighter parts to Iran and a Lebanese citizen living near Detroit who was convicted of trying to provide military equipment to Hezbollah.

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