On Wednesday, lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center who were concerned that the action would affect the project’s clients sent out an email calling for lawyers who could volunteer immediately to go to airports where refugees were scheduled to enter the United States.
“It occurred to us that there were going to be people who were traveling who would land and have their status affected while in midair,” said Betsy Fisher, the group’s policy director.
Even before President Trump issued an order on Friday banning immediate entry into the United States by people from several predominantly Muslim countries, immigration lawyers, having heard rumors of coming action from the White House, were on alert.
While lawyers gathered at airports on Saturday, others were working furiously on litigation. Cecillia Wang, the A.C.L.U.’s deputy legal director, described the scene at her office as “complete chaos.”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released the following statement today on the President’s executive order on immigration:
“Our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation.
“It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security.
While returning from holiday, Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf was selected for security checks from among returning passengers at Edinburgh airport. The Scottish Herald reports that checks according to Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (the so-called “skin color check”) had previously angered Muslims so much that they threatened to boycott Scottish airports in favor of flying from Manchester to avoid what they perceive as harassment.
This independent, qualitative research looks at the impact of counter terror measures on Muslims in Britain, and if this was different from other people. It examines the diverse experiences of Muslims on the street and in the community, at ports and airports, and in mosques, schools and universities, as a result of counter terrorism measures.
4 March 2011
Although German and US investigators are still looking into the shooting at Frankfurt Airport that left two US airmen dead, German officials have played down the need for more security at US installations and public places. American officials cautioned military personnel and civilians to remain vigilant, and published a self-help antiterrorism guide online.
Two days after two US airmen were killed and two others wounded by a lone gunman at Frankfurt Airport, German authorities said Friday that the incident had not prompted an increase in security at most of the country’s airports and train stations.
On Thursday, the US Army Garrison Stuttgart posted “A Self-Help Guide to Antiterrorism” online that was produced by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in September 2010. The 60-page manual gives US military personnel and their families instructions on how to avoid being the victim of terrorist attacks. In one section it describes “Indicators of a Potential Active Shooter,” such as making “anti-American statements asserting that US police and authority is illegitimate.” It advises the Americans on how to evacuate, or to find shelter “out of the active shooter’s view.”
2 February 2011
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday ordered that the police presence in the country, beefed up due to terror concerns last November, be reduced. Still, he said, the risk of attack remains — leading German commentators to wonder whether such warnings are effective.
The security presence in Germany has been hard to ignore in recent months. Heavily armed police have been patrolling airports and train stations across the country, the center of Berlin has likewise seen increased numbers of officers toting machine guns and the government quarter in the heart of the city has been virtually closed off to pedestrians.
As of Tuesday, however, the increased security measures ordered by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in November were a thing of the past. “Security officials have, on the basis of current analysis, come to the conclusion that a reduction of the … country-wide security measures … is possible.”
Dubai airports will not use hi-tech full-body scanners because they “contradict Islam” and violate passengers’ privacy, according to reports — even though the scanners can detect terrorist threats like those posed by the Christmas Day bomber. Neither of Dubai’s two airports will use the scanners “out of respect for the privacy of individuals and their personal freedom,” the head of airport security for the emirate told Al-Bayan daily, AFP reported.
Abdulmutallab is believed to have met with al-Qaida operatives in a house used by extremist Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. He has also been linked to Major Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter.
Yemeni’s deputy prime minister believes the cleric is alive, although Obama officials believed he was killed December 24 on an air strike on a house in Yemen.
The US gave Nigeria full body scanners to use at their 4 international airports, but the machine in Lagos is only used sporadically and only for people suspected of drug smuggling.
Albdulmutallab told classmates after the Islamic course they were enrolled in together was over, he was going to study Shari’a law in Hadhramout Province, but may have lied to cover up travel to Shabwa.
After Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to blow up a jetliner en route to the US on Christmas Day, American airports plan to triple the number of full body scanners from 40 to 150. The machines have led a debate on where the line should be drawn on security measures to preserve the privacy of citizens.
Analysts call the scans virtual strip searches, as they can see through passenger clothing, creating naked images of passengers. ACLU Washington Legislative Office policy counsel Michael German says they will not detect explosives hidden in body cavities, making them both ineffective, inconvenient, and personally invasive.
Naked images could be shared through the internet, but measures are being taken to prevent this.
They are also expensive. At a cost of $150,000 each, aviation and business experts say there will be a rise in air travel costs in order to pay for the machines. Increasing costs concern not only passengers but also airlines, who have struggled to stay in business.
U.K. prosecutors will retry seven British Muslims who they claim conspired to blow up several passenger planes bound for North America from London after a jury days ago failed to reach a verdict.
The men will be retried for conspiring to kill passengers by detonating homemade liquid-based bombs on trans-Atlantic flights, Ken Macdonald, the U.K.’s head prosecutor said today in an e- mailed statement. The arrests in 2006 caused airport chaos with about 2,400 flights canceled in London alone. The investigation led to airport restrictions on more than small amounts of fluids in hand luggage that remain in effect around the world. The London jury on Sept. 8, after a five-month trial, was unable to decide whether the men were guilty of plotting to blow up aircraft. The panel convicted Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain on charges of conspiracy to murder not specifically related to the plot to bomb jets bound for the U.S. and Canada. The three men convicted, along with Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan, Waheed Zaman and Umar Islam, will again face charges of trying to bomb flights. Savant, Khan, Zaman and Islam will also be retried on the same general conspiracy to the murder charges of which Ali, Sarwar and Hussain were found guilty. The panel cleared an eighth defendant in the case of all charges. Defense lawyers at Tuckers and Arani & Co, who have been acting on the case, didn’t return messages seeking comment. James Lumley reports.
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