|Iceland's catch of the day (State Dept. photo)|
Here's a good-news story, and we can use one now, coming as it does after a week of news about returning jihad volunteers committing atrocities in France and their cleanskin accomplices crossing borders with the greatest of ease.
The U.S. government provides training in fraudulent document detection to foreign air carrier personnel, and this week it got an immediate return on that training. According to a State Department press release this afternoon, Embassy Training for Airline Personnel Yields Rapid Results in Reykjavik: Fraud Suspect Busted with Altered Passport:
Just one day after receiving U.S. Embassy-sponsored training in detecting fraudulent travel documents, an Icelandair ticket agent in Reykjavik, Iceland identified a suspicious traveler with an illicit passport and took action that prevented the imposter from flying to North America.
Elvar, the ticket agent, was among some two dozen staffers of airlines and security firms operating at Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavik who had received the training the previous day from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel.
"Elvar." That's a good Viking name if I've ever heard one.
The CLP [Carrier Liaison Program, see this] session in Reykjavik came after months of planning by the U.S. Embassy’s regional security officer (RSO), a former U.S. Border Patrol agent himself. The RSO notes that there was good reason to bring the training to Keflavik.
“Iceland is fast becoming a significant transit point for travelers flying to Canada and the United States,” he says.
The number of passengers transiting Iceland grew by nearly 20 percent in the first eight months of 2014 compared to the same period last year. Airlines departing Keflavik International Airport currently serve nine U.S. cities. By the summer of 2015, those airlines will provide scheduled passenger service from Reykjavik to a total of 14 major U.S. cities.
-- snip --
Following the airline’s security protocol, the ticket agent allowed the passenger to check in, but alerted the Icelandic Border Police, who arrested the passenger at a departure checkpoint. Icelandic Border Police subsequently determined that the suspicious passenger was a Georgian national traveling on a bona fide Israeli passport, with an altered bio-page. The traveler’s intended destination was Edmonton, Canada.
Now, that was some tax money well spent.