[quote]Do the feds really want to place the ports of New York and New Jersey in the hands of a Middle East country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers? As The Post reported on Sunday, that’s what’s about to happen, now that Dubai Ports World has won control - for $6.8 billion - of British-owned Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.
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The purchase gives Dubai Ports control of six U.S. ports - including, in addition to New York-New Jersey, Miami, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
True, the deal reportedly was approved by the top-secret U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which decided there was no security risk.
But at a time when security in the ports remains unacceptably lax, we wonder whether this is a wise move.
Dubai Ports, after all, is owned by the United Arab Emirates, whose banking system - considered the commercial center of the Arab world - provided most of the cash for the 9/11 hijackers. Indeed, much of the operational planning for the World Trade Center attacks took place inside the UAE.
And while the Bush folks now consider the UAE a major ally in the war against terror, the
Treasury Department has been stonewalled by the emirates, and other Arab countries, in trying to track
Osama bin Laden’s bank accounts.
The new leader of Dubai, one of the seven small countries that make up the UAE, has said all the right things about fighting radical Islam since 9/11.
But this remains very much an Islamist nation, where preaching any religion other than Islam is prohibited.
New York Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), for one, thinks this is a case where it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Noting that the nation’s ports “remain top terrorist targets,” Schumer rightly argues that “we would not outsource military operations or law-enforcement duties.”
Likewise, he says, “we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties.”
The fact is, control of America’s ports increasingly is being placed in private - and foreign - hands. And there’s no guarantee that today’s ally in the War on Terror will remain such tomorrow.
There already is reason enough for concern about security in the ports:
Homeland Security officials concede that it is impossible for them to fully inspect all but a tiny percentage of the containers that enter from abroad.
Though no one likes to discuss it publicly, smuggling in weapons of mass destruction likely can most easily be done through the ports.
Supporters of the deal insist that it doesn’t give al Qaeda opportunities it doesn’t already enjoy. That’s no comfort[/quote]
The NY Post knows all.
news.yahoo.com/s/nypost/20060214 … insecurity