Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with her Middle East counterparts and officials from the International Civil Aviation Organization in the United Arab Emirates this week for the fifth international summit on aviation security. One of the major points of discussion was ways to prevent terrorists from boarding commercial aircraft.
“The attempted terrorist attack on Dec. 25 demonstrated that international terrorist threats must be countered with a coordinated, global response,” Napolitano said.
However, attendees at the Abu Dhabi meeting included officials from Syria, which is listed on the State Department’s website as “one of the countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”
Yemen, where alleged Underwear Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab trained for the Christmas Day plot with an al Qaeda cell, was also represented at the summit, even though “Yemen is a near-perfect haven for terrorists from South Asia,” Christopher Boucek of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told ABC News in January.
Two questions: Does Napolitano expect government officials who can’t – or won’t – keep terrorists out of their own countries to somehow keep them out of ours?
And should we be sharing technical and intelligence information about terrorists with a country like Syria, which our own State Department has determined actively supports them?