Psychotic Hatchet-Attacker Not Immediately Placed on No-Fly List
A procedure used to place suspects on U.S. terrorism “watch lists” is so rigorous that even a Kenyan man who tried to murder a Danish cartoonist on New Year’s Day with a hatchet and a knife was not immediately added onto a “no fly” list maintained by the U.S. government, according to a U.S. national-security official.
The official, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said that before his name was added to a U.S. no-fly list?consisting of about 4,000 people banned from boarding U.S.-bound airplanes?the case of Muhidin Gelle, who broke into the house of cartoonist Kurt Westergaard on Jan. 1 and tried to kill him, had to be reviewed by U.S. officials to ensure that it met official standards for inclusion in such a database. This meant that even though Gelle was already under arrest in Denmark, having been caught and shot by Danish police as he reportedly threatened them with his axe, there was a lag in adding him to the U.S. aviation blacklist, while American officials made sure that his behavior met the appropriate standard. (After his arrest for the attack on Westergaard, officials in Kenya also reportedly linked Gelle to an earlier plot to attack Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while she was touring Africa.)
Now, who knows, maybe the fact that he was arrested meant there was little reason to put Gelle on the no-fly. But really now.