The United States may have narrowly missed a repeat of the 9/11 attacks in June — and, apparently, even the FBI doesn’t realize it.
On June 4, a 24-year-old Muslim man named Raed Abdhul-Rahman Alsaif was arrested for trying to bring a seven-inch knife on board a U.S. Airways flight at Tampa International Airport, destined for Phoenix. The blade was seen by a screener and Alsaif was caught before he could get onto the airliner. Of course, he says he is innocent, as some forgetful friend gave him the luggage bag and failed to mention that a knife was embedded inside the material, which the criminal complaint states was “artfully” concealed in such a way as to allow for it to be retrieved once the flight took off.
Alsaif graduated from the Islamic Saudi Academy in Virginia in 2003. For those that don’t remember, this school has been embroiled in a little bit of controversy the past two years. In October 2007, the U.S. Commission on International Religion Freedom requested that the State Department close the school, citing the use of textbooks filled with extremism. The commission again reported on the school’s radical curriculum in June 2008. One graduate has been convicted of working with al-Qaeda, while two former students were kicked out of Israel upon landing due to clear signs they were planning suicide bombings.
Private investigator Bill Warner notes that when Alsaif was booked and photographed by police in October on his second arrest on drug charges, he had a beard — a beard that was shaven off before he attempted to board the U.S. Airways flight. For those that think this is all attributable to coincidence, there’s another key element to consider.