The State Department gave special VIP treatment at New York’s JFK Airport to visiting delegates of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, allowing them to enter the United States without a routine security screening.
The New York Post reports that the expedited entry, known as “port courtesy,” was given to the officials between March and April in 2012, according to newly released documents confirming an Investigative Project on Terrorism report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The perk, which is normally reserved for high-ranking foreign dignitaries, took place before the Brotherhood had won control of the Egyptian government in June 2012 with its candidate Mohammed Morsi elected as president.
However, the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party had already won a plurality of seats in parliamentary elections.
One member of the Brotherhood delegation had been linked to a child pornography investigation in the United States years earlier, and likely would have been subjected to extra screening, according to The Algemeiner website.
Another delegate, Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, was escorted through security checkpoints at Minneapolis and JFK. And an official said, “We did not hear anything further from the [Muslim Brotherhood] so we assume the departure went smoothly.”
The report said Dardery was allowed to dodge a “secondary inspection,” which allows agents to search baggage and electronic equipment of passengers who might be considered security risks, says the Post.
Algemeiner noted that the Muslim Brotherhood has close ties with Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, which would usually have resulted in a secondary inspection for the delegation.
Morsi was overthrown in a military-backed coup in July 2013.
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By Drew MacKenzie