Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France
h/t: Royce de Melo.
Virtually on the cusp of publishing our NER report on the insecurity of domestic and international airports, “Is it Safe to Fly”, came news courtesy of the Times of London and New York Post of French airport workers on Terrorist watch list; Dozens of Paris airport workers on terror watch list: report. We had more than a passing interest in this personally, as my son, Harold Gordon and a family entourage had arrived safely from Paris last night, after spending several days visiting with our eldest granddaughter Arielle, a Northwestern University Junior who was spending her fall semester at a joint program with SciPo in Paris. (See: Americans in Paris after the November 13th Attack, Dr. Rich Swier). Arielle and Harold were cited in a Washington Post Magazine article, “Cafes and museums of Paris, staggered by attacks, begin revival:”
Universities have stepped up security measures and lost some foreign students visiting on cultural exchanges. Arielle Gordon, 20, a student at Northwestern University who is spending a semester at Paris’s university of the social sciences, Sciences Po, began receiving regular e-mails from administrators after the attacks. They offered support (including free group counseling) as well as reminders to carry identification, which is now required to enter any building.
Harold Gordon, Arielle Gordon’s father, who came with five other family members to visit his daughter for Thanksgiving, said several friends in the United States tried to dissuade them from making the trip. If they had followed that advice, he said, “What would we be telling our daughter implicitly?”
In the Dr. Rich Swier e-Magazine post, I noted:
Harold and I spent 9/11/2001 together in the company of his law firm partners and associates in Manhattan viewing and experiencing first hand another Islamic jihad slaughter of the innocents by Al Qaeda shahids from Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
These close encounters with Islamic terrorism by the Gordon family was experienced by Arielle’s younger sister Amanda who spent a month in Israel on a teen tour during the summer 2014 Hamas rocket and terror tunnel 50 day war, IDF Operation Protective Edge.
That prompted this comment on my Facebook page from Mike Bates, Pensacola WEBY1330Am colleague and host of “Your Turn;”
Glad to see they went to Paris. To have cancelled plans after the attacks would have been to surrender to the Jihadists.
Bates recently returned from a globe girdling trip to Vietnam. That was part of his research producing a series on Armed Forces Radio during the Viet Nam War. Read here.
The New York Post report should give any international air traveler pause about who is handling baggage and cleaning aircraft at Charles de Gaulle, other European airports, and, as we pointed out in “Is it Safe to Fly”, here in America. Note the Post report revelations:
The security passes of 86,000 workers at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris will be reviewed after it was found that 57 employees with access to airliners were on a terror watch list, according to a report.
Security badges were taken away from dozens of workers at the airport after terror attacks in Paris in January — but others continued working, the Sunday Times of London reported.
Police official Philippe Riffault told the paper that the review of airport passes will begin with 5,000 security personnel.
“It’s a question of verifying what these people might have been doing since they obtained their authorization,” Riffault said.
Police carried out extensive searches of the airport under state-of-emergency powers after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed and 350 injured by Islamic State militants.
Belgium, where several of the Paris attackers had lived, also has pulled security badges from several airport workers after discovering that some had links to jihadis who had traveled to Syria.
Meanwhile, anxiety has been brewing about radicalism among bus, Metro and railroad workers.
Samy Amimour, who blew himself up in the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, managed to get a job as a bus driver while on a watch list.
In other developments:
- It emerged that Arabic graffiti was spray-painted on four planes belonging to the British carrier EasyJet and a plane from the Spanish airline Vueling at two French airports. Three defaced planes were found in Lyon and two at Charles de Gaulle, AFP reported.
- “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” was scrawled on a fuel-tank hatch of one EasyJet plane in Paris. EasyJet said there had been a “small number” of such cases since the Nov. 13 attacks.
- The hunt continued for Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam, who was said to have enjoyed a coffee and a chat with a pal in a Brussels cafe the day after the attacks. It also emerged that he had bought 10 detonators from an explosives outfit in Saint-Ouen-l’Aumone near Paris.
As Ambassador R. James Woolsey concluded in our NER article, “If a plane goes down, or if more than one U.S. plane goes down, there goes our airline/travel industry.”