All the better to get even more Saudi students and/or potential terrorists into the country more easily and faster than ever before.
FOX News (h/t Subramanian K) Saudi Arabian Airlines says it will begin operating direct flights to Los Angeles’s LAX airport by March 31. Saudia, the kingdom’s national carrier, already operates 14 flights a week to the Washington D.C. area and New York City.
The airline says flights to Los Angeles are aimed at accommodating the thousands of Saudi students studying in the United States on Saudi government scholarships.
Saudi senior spokesman, Abdullah bin Mushabab, said in a statement on Tuesday that the new flights will also help accommodate American Muslims in the west coast flying to Saudi Arabia for religious pilgrimage. He says the flights will run three times a week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
Dumping the post 9/11 policy of extra airport scrutiny for countries with known terrorist ties, the Obama Regime adds Saudi Arabia to the Easy-Entry Trusted Traveler Program
Daily Caller Saudi Arabia, the nation which produced 15 of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks, has become one of a handful of countries whose travelers can bypass normal passport controls at major US airports. Sources tell the Investigative Project on Terrorism that this will mark the first time that the Saudi government will have a direct role in vetting who is eligible for getting fast-tracked for entry into the United States.
Of the 19 individuals who hijacked American planes on September 11, 2001 — 15 were from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “More recently, following the plot to blow up an international flight over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, the Department saw fit to increase the scrutiny of passengers from countries like Saudi Arabia. This must be a factor in determining who to admit into the Global Entry Program.”
Before the terrorist attacks, Saudis had access to a program called Visa Express, that only required a visit to a travel agent in the Kingdom. That policy was discontinued a few months after the 2001 terror attacks.
But now an updated version is back, only with a reassuring new name — the Global Entry trusted traveler program. Judicial Watch notes “just three years ago the U.S. government actually placed Saudi Arabia on a list of 14 countries whose travelers would face enhanced security.” GOP lawmakers voiced their concerns about “potential risks” associated with opening the Global Entry trusted traveler program — which “allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States” — to Saudi Arabia
The addition of Saudi Arabia to the trusted traveler program has received increased attention in recent days following a report from the Investigative Project on Terrorism. That report highlighted concerns about giving travelers from the repressive monarchy easeri access than is given to citizens of many close U.S. allies. Only a few other countries are currently a part of the program — Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the Netherlands. Meanwhile American friends of long standing — including France, Great Britain and Germany — have not been included, and an agreement with Israel has yet to be implemented.