Wed, Aug 19, 2009
Seattle Man, Considered A Fugitive, May Be In Syria
The FBI says 31-year-old Joseph Mahmoud Dibee is a domestic
terrorist. He was indicted more than three years ago, along with 10
other people, on numerous charges such as arson, destroying an
electrical tower, and other acts of domestic terrorism. At
the time, The Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation
Front claimed credit for those incidents.
But Dibee is also a licensed pilot, and according to the New
York times, his license has not been revoked, and he is trying to
sell his airplane, a 1977 Grumman Cheetah, on the Internet.
Meanwhile, it is believed Dibee has fled to Syria.
The Times reports Dibee's name popped up during a database
search by Safe Banking Systems, which had earlier identified six
other people thought to be terrorism suspects who held pilots
licenses. TSA said at the time it would suspend the licenses of
those six, and would investigate to see how many other suspected
terrorists were licensed pilots. FAA Spokeswoman Laura Brown told
the Times that the agency had suspended several licenses, but would
not be specific about the number.
While there are some instances in which names translated from
Arabic make a match more difficult, in Dibee's case, there was a
great deal of matching date. For instance the FBI Wanted
information and his pilot's licence had his name spelled correctly,
as well as the same place and date of birth. David M. Schiffer,
president of Safe Banking Systems, said that points to the
probability that it is unlikely that TSA is comparing the FBI list
with FAA's database of licensed pilots.
TSA told the Times that while it does not regularly compare the
lists, it “continuously assesses vetting performance and
adjusts its vetting engines accordingly.”
FAA was stripped of most of its security responsibility when TSA
was created following the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
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