It’s appearing increasingly likely ISIS indeed took down the Russian jetliner over the Sinai peninsula two weeks ago. As CNN reported earlier this week, ISIS’ affiliate in Egypt is taking credit for downing Metrojet Flight 9268. And U.S. officials — along with officials from other world governments — are increasingly confident terrorists indeed were the ones who brought down the Russian plane, killing 224 aboard.
But thus far, we haven’t heard much about what this might mean for us here in the U.S., though at least some U.S. leaders are expressing concern — with one even calling it a ‘major game-changer.’
While it may be premature to conclude with 100% certainty that Metrojet Flight 9268’s fate was ISIS’ handiwork, it’s not to soon to ask what vulnerabilities exist here in the United States that could open us up to similar attacks.
As Katie Pavlich writes for Townhall.com:
As it becomes clearer ISIS was responsible for the downing of a Russian jetliner over the Sinai peninsula two weeks ago, U.S. government officials and leaders are expressing growing concerns about airport security here at home.
“This is a major game changer,” House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said in a recent interview about the situation. “They [ISIS] have the capability, if proven true, to down aircrafts with bombs. That concerns me a great deal because traditionally they’ve been focused on the caliphate, not external operations. This is a very significant departure from that mission and one that I think could impact our own homeland as well.”
So why is no one talking about this? While I understand the desire not to fear monger, this is a legitimate concern — and one for which we need to prepare.
Now is a good time to remind Americans of two things.
1) TSA failed 95 percent of security tests last year with little to no improvement this year. Undercover investigators were able to sneak a variety of different fake bombs and weapons onto U.S. planes without any problems.
What, if anything, has been done to address these gaps?
2) According to intelligence, the downed Russian jetliner was brought down by a bomb in the cargo hold and ISIS had been in touch with a baggage handler at Sharm el-Sheihk airport. Why is this relevant? Because it was just last year when we learned American born Abdirahmaan Muhumed, a young man who left the U.S. for Syria to fight with ISIS, worked for Delta at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, had a security clearance and had “unfettered access” to sensitive areas of the airport and airplanes.
He was the second known American killed while fighting for ISIS in Syria, and the second from Minnesota — and a Fox 9 exclusive uncovering his employment history is raising a few eyebrows.
An airport is probably the last place anyone would want a suspected terrorist to work, but before he died overseas, that’s exactly what Abdirahmaan Muhumed did in the Twin Cities. In fact, he may have cleaned your plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Before he died, Muhumed left behind a trail of selfies and questions. Who recruited him to join the terror group, and how did he support himself and 9 children? Multiple sources tell Fox 9 News that, for a time, he worked at a job that gave him security clearance at the airport, access to the tarmac and unfettered access to planes.
Pavlich notes though Muhumed became radicalized after being initially hired, that doesn’t necessarily decrease the danger of the situation; considering the intense use of social media and the dark web by ISIS to radicalize Americans, it’s easy to see how this could happen to others as well.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration plans to up our intake of “refugees” from Syria, a significant number of who admit to being ISIS sympathizers.
Does anyone else see where this might be headed? So how come no one’s talking about it?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]