Friday, August 18, 2006

Dogs accused of Islamophobia
Never mind that carrying liquids onto planes is still banned in the aftermath of the foiled trans-Atlantic bombing plot. Never mind that one-way tickets come under automatic suspicion nowadays. Never mind that two tests came up positive for explosives.
And never mind that the canine team got a positive hit: Rover is racist, you see, and needs sensitivity training. From AP: Woman says she suspects Pakistani heritage was reason for US airport’s security alarm
CEREDO, West Virginia -,A Pakistani woman whose daughter’s carry-on luggage caused an airport to shut down for 9 ½ hours says it was her ethnic background, not a few bottles of suspicious liquids, that set off security officials.
Initial laboratory testing by the FBI turned up no evidence of explosive materials in the bottles carried at Tri-State Airport in West Virginia by Rima Qayyum, a 28-year-old Pakistani woman dressed in the traditional Islamic headcover.
The presence or absence of the hijab is completely irrelevant, as the same events would have unfolded if she wore nothing on her head.
No charges were filed against the woman, who was never detained and was cooperative when interviewed by the FBI.
Qayyum’s mother, Mian Qayyum of Jackson, Michigan, told The Associated Press that her daughter is four months pregnant, lives in Barboursville and is innocent.
It was not only a false alarm, it was racial discrimination because there was nothing,’ Mian Qayyum said. They should clear her name and apologize on national TV.’
This is the height of silliness: Because it was a false alarm (though tests are still ongoing), the whole thing was racially motivated.
The FBI did not return messages Thursday night seeking comment on the allegations.
A screener noticed a bottle in Rima Qayyum’s carry-on bag as she was going through security before her 9:15 a.m. flight Thursday to Charlotte, North Carolina, airport authority president Jim Booton said.
The terminal was evacuated at 11:25 a.m. after two bottles of liquid in the bag initially tested positive for explosives residue twice, and a canine team also got a positive hit. Chemical tests of the bottles’ contents later turned up no explosives, said Capt. Jack Chambers, head of the State Police Special Operations unit.
The woman had purchased a one-way ticket to Detroit by way of Charlotte on Wednesday. The flight eventually left for Charlotte without her.
Rima Qayyum planned to return to the airport Friday to take another flight, her mother said.
She just had water to drink because she is pregnant and she had a face wash that had a drop of bleach on it,’ Mian Qayyum said.
The FBI plans to perform additional tests on the bottles Friday, Killeen said.
US authorities banned the carrying of liquids onto flights last week after British officials made arrests in an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound planes using explosives disguised as drinks and other common products.


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