The security apparatus fails yet again: Muslim extremist Mohammed El Shaer manages to travel to Syria despite not having a valid passport.
Oh, but it gets better.
A Palestinian-Canadian “marketing executive,” El Shaer had been on the RCMP’s radar since he left Canada on Nov. 3, 2013, with Mr. Waseem, a jihadist fighter who had been recovering in Windsor from a combat wound received in Syria.Apparently there's no length the Canadian government (and the courts!) will go to in order to keep Mohammed El Shaer from crossing a border barring throwing him in jail forever.
On social media, Mr. Waseem has called Osama bin Laden a “hero,” given advice on how to join the fight in Syria and supported the enslavement of non-Muslims.
“I enjoy seeing dead Americans,” he wrote after ISIS released a videotape of the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley.
He flew with Mr. El Shaer to Reykjavik, Iceland, then to Paris and Turkey. Mr. Waseem returned to Syria, but on Dec. 12, Mr. El Shaer told Canadian officials his passport had been damaged and, after giving false information, received an emergency travel document.
Turkish authorities briefly detained him for being in the country illegally, but on Jan. 1 he flew to Calgary and told Canada Border Services Agency officers he was on the U.S. no-fly list. On June 23, he was arrested in Windsor for passport-related fraud and released on bail.
Although he was prohibited from leaving Ontario, pending his trial, he somehow made his way to Egypt and Sudan. He was arrested when he returned to Toronto’s Pearson airport Nov. 5 and charged with breaching the conditions of his release.
“I made a mistake and I apologize for that,” he told a Windsor judge after pleading guilty on Dec. 19. “It won’t happen again.”
He was sentenced to 90 days — or 24 days after the time already served in pre-trial custody was deducted. He was also to serve 12 months on probation and banned from travelling outside Canada.
Also, apparently there's absolutely nothing that the Canadian government can do that's sufficient to keep this Muslim prick from laughably crossing borders whenever he feels like it. So what's the point of the security apparatus in the first place?
While they're busy frisking you and making you remove your belt even though it doesn't impact the metal detector at all, Mohammed El Shaer defies them and the courts by waltzing out of the country without a valid passport and while on a no-fly list and a criminal record related to passport fraud.
I had been working on a blogpost a couple years ago about the security theatre, as it applied to the criminal records check. It's a shame I didn't finish it, since a lot of the lessons from the case that sparked that aborted blogpost haven't been learned in this one. Baumgartner went through the process of obtaining a "security clearance" for all the value it did anybody. He went and spent his $50 or whatever (a sum cheerily cashed by a police force somewhere) in order for them to spit out the results of a records search that dutifully told them that he hadn't been arrested or convicted or anything along those lines. He was now "secure". Outside of the person who interviewed him for the position as security guard, nobody analyzed him as a man, merely as a record...and as we saw in that case, his flawless history was completely useless when it came time to knowing whether or not he was a security risk. Similar procedures, though it's too early to say definitively, have failed to prevent the crash of Germanwings 9525.
Anyways, that was the blogpost I had been working on. All this effort in obtaining security clearance for Travis Baumgartner† was for naught. But with Mohammed El Shaer all the effort revoking any rights of free movement across the Candian border was for naught! Meanwhile, who gets impacted? You do. You're the one who has to pay for a criminal records check to coach a slo-pitch team or work as a cashier at Safeway. You're the one who has to undergo time-wasting and useless security theatre when it comes to going about your daily social interactions. Then you go on vacation, and at the airport you have to go through all this effort, all this rigmarole. I had to last minute get the airline to make changes to my flights last year when I discovered they misspelled my name (you'd be amazed how many times, by the way, you can read your own name in print and not realize it's completely incorrect). A Polish couple was in transportation hell over this issue just a couple months ago.
† Pace Harry S. Plinkett, what's the deal with Travises?
What, pray tell, was the point? Why did I have to rush to correct a typo? Why was Valiantsina Murashka stuck in a foreign country because of a typo? Why are you having to scan your eyeballs at the U.S. border? Don't say it's because of "security" because it's not secure; go re-read the Charles Cooke article linked to above. Even security theatre -- the illusion of security done to make it look like organizations are doing something -- doesn't work as an explanation since the failures make it even more clear that they aren't. This isn't even an illusion of security: you'll stand in line reading in the paper that it's complete bullshit.
The problems with the El Shaer case goes far beyond just the airport security, of course: it speaks to the general non-security border control issues, law enforcement, and the whole gambit. But the end result is the same: authorities couldn't stop somebody from doing whatever the hell he wanted.
For some reason, that doesn't stop them from doing it to you.