Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mister Forgetful Goes To The Airport In Karachi

Book him Danish, Stupidity One

This just in from Pakistan's Geo-TV, local court grants bail to FBI agent:
KARACHI: The District and Sessions Judge Malir granted bail to a US citizen who was arrested from the Jinnah International Airport on Monday for trying to board an Islamabad bound PIA flight with ammunition, knives.

Police office Rao Anwaar said the court had directed the man to submit a surety bond of one million rupee ($9,800) for his bail.

The police had detained the American on May 5 at an airport in Karachi after ammunition and three knives were seized from him.

A US law enforcement official identified the man as an FBI agent and said he was there as part of an anti-corruption operation.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Office has confirmed that the US citizen was an FBI agent who did not have diplomatic immunity.

To recap this story, it seems that an FBI agent was sent to Pakistan for a short TDY assignment, reportedly arriving in Karachi on 1 May. On Monday, 5 May, he attempted to board a flight from Karachi to Islamabad but was arrested when airport security screening found a full magazine of pistol ammunition and a knife in his carry-on bag. He was now been charged with violation of Pakistan's anti-terrorism laws. Police were quoted yesterday saying the agent had a "normal travel visa," and today the Pakistan FO confirmed that the guy does not have diplomatic immunity.

The part about his passport is still unclear to me. I hope he had an official or a diplomatic passport, because, well, just damn, I hope we aren't sending anyone to Pakistan on official USG business without that. As a mere TDY visitor, he would not have had diplomatic immunity regardless of the color of his passport. But surely he was not sent to Pakistan on official business with a blue tourist passport, was he? I fear he could have been.

There is the matter of the agent's carelessness in having ammo and a knife on him when going through airport screening. What was he thinking? But, leave that aside.

There is the other matter of him losing control of his laptop, phone, and other electronic devices, all of them no doubt used for official USG business, and all of them now being ransacked by Pakistani intelligence agencies. That's pretty bad.

Add to that the diplomatic embarrassment factor, and the additional scrutiny other USG travelers will now face in Pakistan. If I were planning to go there on official business right now, I wouldn't be too happy. I mean, I would be even more unhappy than I would normally be about going to Pakistan.

Hey, Mister Special Agent Forgetful, thanks for making Pakistan an even harder place for your fellow government employees.