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Flight 327 lands on Capitol Hill

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 29, 2004 08:48 AM

Looks like Washington is paying attention to the Annie Jacobsen story. The Washington Times reports that “federal officials were summoned to Capitol Hill yesterday to brief Senate and House Judiciary Committee staff in response to reports of the incident, and the Federal Air Marshals Association requested a meeting with top officials in the Homeland Security Department.”

More:

Officials called to Capitol Hill included Randy Beardsworth, director of Homeland Security’s Operations, Border and Transportation Security Office; Thomas Quinn, director of the Federal Air Marshals Service; and Willie Hulon, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division.

One staffer who attended the briefing said officials were “very cagey” on details, which he described as “very frustrating.”

However, the officials confirmed air marshals found the activities unusual and suspicious.

“They are trying to have it both ways and say yes, our people are smart enough to see something and that’s why they called for authorities, but they deny it was as scary as it has been portrayed,” the staffer said.

DHS is also attempting a CYA move on the expired visas issue; a spokesman revealed that the department “learned late Tuesday” that an extension had been granted to the Syrians until July 15. The fact remains that no federal immigration officer was present when the passengers were questioned in Los Angeles and no one bothered to check on their status until after they were released.

Update: The Washington Times piece also mentions the suicide bomber-glorying song performed by Nour Mehana. Heather Wilhelm first reported on the lyrics on July 27 here.

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Categories: Homeland Security, Politics, Airline Security

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