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Thompson on Criticism of Air Marshal Service: Stale Allegations Undermine Efforts to Secure Our Skies

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement responding to recent Congressional allegations directed at the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMs), an agency within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):

“I was disturbed by claims in a June report issued by House Committee on Judiciary Chairman, F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), alleging that FAMs had “stonewalled” Congressional staff and was “oblivious” to air security gaps. In response to the report’s allegations, I requested an explanation from Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley on whether Mr. Sensenbrenner’s assertions were true.

“It appears that many of the allegations raised by the June report are stale and have been addressed by FAMs. As the Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which has primary jurisdiction over FAMs, I look forward to FAMs continued progress in addressing aviation security gaps. Every day the American flying public counts on the men and women of FAMs to be the last line of defense against terrorist attack on a plane and I thank them for their contributions to aviation security. In addition, I encourage other Members to engage this Committee on issues relating to homeland security in the future,” Thompson added.

Attached is the correspondence between Congressman Thompson and Assistant Secretary Hawley.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson

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