Skip to comments.An American Beslan?
Posted on 03/20/2007 5:54:09 PM PDT by elhombrelibre
An American Beslan? By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 4:20 PM PT
Homeland Security: As Democrats hold more silly hearings to embarrass Republicans, the FBI is warning local police to be alert for Muslim extremists hijacking school buses. Reality check, please.
We wonder if any of the grandstanding politicians on Capitol Hill are thinking in terms of one of these nuts driving a fertilizer-filled yellow bus up to a government building or, easier yet, a school. Of course not. They're too busy swooning over Valerie Plame to even notice we're still under threat from the Islamic terrorists they say we shouldn't be spying on.
The FBI and Homeland Security Department last week sent out a bulletin to law enforcement across the country warning that Muslims with "ties to extremist groups" are signing up to be school bus drivers. They also noted "recent suspicious activity" by foreigners who drive school buses or are licensed to drive them.
Recent events come on top of several other school bus-related incidents involving Mideast men that raise suspicion of terror activity.
They include last year's surprise boarding of a school bus in Florida by two Saudi men dressed in trench coats. Authorities suspect they were making a dry run to see how easy it would be to hijack or blow up a school bus filled with American children.
Previously, an Arab man from Detroit was caught trying to obtain a job as a school bus driver in New York using fake Social Security documents.
Authorities fear the school massacre that took place in Beslan, Russia, in 2004 may be a dress rehearsal for what al-Qaida plans to do here. Chechen terrorists tied to al-Qaida seized a building in Beslan on the first day of school and slaughtered 338, including 172 kids.
Three years later, schools and local police in this country are still unprepared to deal with such an assault. Most don't have response plans for handling a single active shooter, let alone a cell of trained terrorists.
Yet terror cells secreted inside America may be planning to use buses as a Trojan horse to infiltrate school campuses and murder students and teachers. Floor plans for schools in Virginia, Texas and New Jersey have been recovered from terrorist hands in Iraq. Videotapes confiscated in Afghanistan show al-Qaida terrorists practicing the takeover of a school.
Simultaneous attacks on schools in multiple states would follow Osama bin Laden's goal of crippling the U.S. economy. If multiple schools were hit, parents would drop out of the work force en masse to protect their children.
A prolonged labor disruption would cost businesses billions of dollars in lost revenue.
It's a grim picture. But don't think for a moment that al-Qaida is above targeting school children. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said in his Gitmo confession that while he may not like killing kids, they're fair game in jihad. He claims U.S. forces bombed and killed the children of bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, and arrested and "abused" his own children.
These people have nothing better to do than sit around and think of ways to kill us and our most precious resource, our children. They have many helpers placed inside U.S. cities who canvass targets and perform other logistics for such attacks. And these people will stop at nothing to pull them off. They're just waiting for the right time, when our guard is down.
Are we witnessing with Muslim men trying to obtain bus licenses what some alert (but ignored) agents witnessed before 9/11 when they noticed a number of Muslim men training to obtain pilot's licenses? Are schools and children the target of the next wave of terror attacks?
Parents should be outraged that Washington would continue to play politics with national security. Instead of using hearings to score partisan points, Congress would best serve constituents by using that power to investigate the terror threat to schools and how best to protect our children from attack.
The moment it happened, the first act of the Rosie O'Donnells of the world would be to leap into action (well, okay, waddle into action) and condemn Christian fundamentalists because, you know, they're all the same.
Of course, we should add why would they be afraid to tangle with the "peace now at any price" Democrats who hate and fear Bush more than our enemies.
Mass Slaughter in Our Public Schools: The Terrorists' Chilling Plan
2007-01-25 @ 12:08:15
Mass Slaughter in Our Public Schools: The Terrorists' Chilling Plan
ping for later
According to the following AP wire, the FBI has released noting "noted "recent suspicious activity" by foreigners who either drive school buses or are licensed to drive them". The wire is included below.
Please also note the posting sent out to this group on January 28, 2007 about this same issue, as well as earlier articles I've posted. I'm including a copy of the January 28 posting at the bottom of this email.
WASHINGTON -- Members of extremist groups have signed up as school bus drivers in the United States, counterterror officials said Friday, in a cautionary bulletin to police. An FBI spokesman said "parents and children have nothing to fear."
Asked about the alert notice, the FBI's Rich Kolko said "there are no threats, no plots and no history leading us to believe there is any reason for concern," although law enforcement agencies around the country were asked to watch out for kids' safety.
The bulletin, parts of which were read to The Associated Press, did not say how often foreign extremists have sought to acquire licenses to drive school buses, or where. It was sent Friday as part of what officials said was a routine FBI and Homeland Security Department advisory to local law enforcement.
It noted "recent suspicious activity" by foreigners who either drive school buses or are licensed to drive them, according to a counterterror official who read parts of the document to The Associated Press.
Foreigners under recent investigation include "some with ties to extremist groups" who have been able to "purchase buses and acquire licenses," the bulletin says.
But Homeland Security and the FBI "have no information indicating these individuals are involved in a terrorist plot against the homeland," it says. The memo also notes: "Most attempts by foreign nationals in the United States to acquire school bus licenses to drive them are legitimate."
Kolko said the bulletin was sent merely as an educational tool to help local police identify and respond to any suspicious activity.
It was not immediately clear whether the extremists intended to do with the school buses. One counterterror official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said it was likely that the foreigners investigated were merely employed as bus drivers, and did not intend to use them as part of any terror plot.
Not again: FirstStudent fails to submit Columbus OH school bus drivers for background checks since 2004; same company that employed man indicted in terror charges as school bus driver
by Laura Mansfield
Reports emerged this week that 56,000 Columbus OH school students had their classes canceled because First Student, the contractor responsible for their school buses, had failed to submit their drivers for background checks since 2004.
According to an Associated Press article released on Friday:
Columbus schools canceled classes for their 56,000 students Thursday after a contractor responsible for some school bus routes discovered it had not done complete criminal background checks on drivers.
First Student Inc. had not submitted any of its bus drivers' information to the state for checks since August 2004, said Jennifer Brindisi, spokeswoman for Attorney General Marc Dann.
This is especially concerning considering that this is not the first time that First Student has had problems with its background checks. In fact, one of First Student's bus drivers has been indicted on terrorism-related charges, and was a roommate of a man convicted of luxury hotel bombing and a suspect in the USS Cole attack.
This steller First Student driver was Mohamed Kamal Elzahabi. In 2004, First Student driver Mohamed Kamal Elzahabi was indicted in Minneapolis. The charges: two counts of lying to agents with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in connection with an international terrorism investigation.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, al Zahabi allegedly attended a jihad military training camp and fought in Afghanistan in 1988 and 1989. Later, the indictment alleges he acted as a sniper in combat and also served as an instructor in small arms and sniper skills for other jihadists attending the Khalden training camp in Afghanistan.
Records show he passed the school bus driver portion of his CDL on Oct. 17, 2001, a date Pearson said was around the time First Student hired him and he began driving routes.
On September 11, 2001, Elzahabi applied with First Student of Minneapolis, to become a school bus driver. Elzahabi spent four months as a First Student school bus driver in late 2001, transporting students for the Minneapolis Public Schools. The company fired him in January of 2002 after he failed to report to work, said Jeff Pearson, region vice president with First Student, Inc. First Student is based in Cincinnati, OH, and employs 19,000 drivers on 15,000 school buses nationwide.
Elzahabi also held Commercial Driver's Licenses in Massachusetts, Colorado, and Minnesota, and also had a HAZMAT certification.
While in Massachusetts, Elzahabi's roommate in Everett was none other than Raid Hijazi, who has been convicted of blowing up a luxury hotel in Jordan. Hijazi is also a suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole.
According to an article in School Bus Transportation News at http://www.stnonline.com/stn/security/stn_articles/alqaeda1.htm:
After fighting in Chechnya from late 1999 through 2000, the FBI said, Elzahabi re-entered the United Stats and settled in the Minneapolis area. Pearson said Elzahabi applied with First Student on Sept. 11, 2001, the same day terrorists flew airplanes into the WorldTradeCenter and the Pentagon. At the time, Elzahabi held a valid Massachusetts driver's license and school bus CDL, including hazmat clearance.
It is unclear at this point as to whether or not Elzahabi ever used his school bus CDL in Massachusetts or not.
In that same article, School Bus Transportation News reported on comments about Elzahabi from Jeff Pearson, region vice president with First Student, Inc. said:
First Student, a Cincinnati-based company, employs 19,000 drivers on 15,000 school buses nationwide. The fact that at least one of those drivers may have had connections to Al Qaeda is disturbing to Pearson, but also a sign of how over-stretched background investigators are when attempting to verify a prospective employee's identity and past.
"I don't think we can ever be satisfied with the way background checks are done," Pearson said. "It seems almost impossible to get all the information you need on individuals, especially if they are trying to hide something.
One thing is certain. If you don't do the background check, you get even less information, and it becomes even easier for people to hide information.
Our nightmare FYI.
The author either missed it in haste, or I missed it in the article in haste - but the terrorists probably don't want to hijack empty school buses. The value of a school bus isn't in its size and the quantity of fertilizer based bomb material that it can hold, but in the children such buses carry on a daily basis, usually filled to capacity. Imagine a large school bus with 80-120 students on board being held hostage by an insane, Islamic fanatic whose rigged the bus to blow up with the children still aboard. Now imagine a coordinated attack involving dozens of school buses nation wide on the same day.
correction: whose should be "who has"
When our Islamists enemies see how feeble our politicians are in the war against al Qaeda abroad, it would come as no surprise to me that they'd want to pull this type of terror on us at home to get their way. In the eyes of the DNC, Iran enjoys the benefit of the doubt on whether it is aiding those who murder Americans in Iraq, even as we know they aid those who kill Iraqis in Iraq, Lebanese in Lebanon, and Israelis in Israel. Why would the Islamists and the Iranian agents hesitate to strike such cowering fools in denial whose most important mission is to destroy Bush?
Wouldn't want to profile anyone...
I wish I could convince others to get their kids out of public schools for the poor academics ... NOW maybe jihad bus drivers might do it.
Private school is worth its weight in gold.
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