CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has proposed legislation that would require the federal government to tell air travelers which airports don’t adequately check passengers for stolen passports.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Kirk’s proposal would require the State Department to publish a list of airports that don’t check travelers against Interpol’s list of lost and stolen passports.
Kirk said that includes most overseas airports.
He said the fact two Iranian passengers aboard ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were traveling on stolen passports should spur action about airport security. He said, no matter why the plane went down while headed from Malaysia to China, those two passengers shouldn’t have been on board.
“The U.S. State Department should clearly advise Americans about countries that do not routinely check the Interpol database for lost or stolen passports,” he said.
University of Chicago terrorism expert Robert Pape said the publicity from publishing such a list might prompt other international airports to tighten their procedures.
“Once we make this information public, then what we’re likely to see is a number of reverberations; positive benefits from this,” Pape said.
Pape had a report indicating terrorism might be reduced these days, but it’s still a global threat.
“The report also documents case after case of terrorists using stolen passports for operational planning, and other movement, in connection with their activities. Senator Kirk’s plan is an excellent way to deal with this threat,” he said.
Pape said he thinks U.S. officials will now more closely examine passports from countries with lax procedures.