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Saturday, June 20, 2009

FBI investigates attempts to smuggle weapons on planes, Sarasota private investigator Bill Warner first exposed the Tampa and Philadelphia links.


FBI investigates attempts to smuggle weapons on planes, Sarasota private investigator Bill Warner first exposed the Tampa and Philadelphia links.
FBI investigates attempts to smuggle weapons on planes
haltman@tampatrib.com
Published: June 19, 2009

The FBI is looking into whether there is any connection between two arrests - one here and one in Philadelphia - of men trying to smuggle weapons onto airplanes. The arrests both took place June 4. Both planes were bound for Phoenix.

In Tampa, federal authorities charged a 24-year-old man with trying to bring a 7-inch knife aboard a plane at Tampa International Airport. Raed Abduhl-Rahman Alsaif was arrested June 4 as he tried to board US Airways Flight 1077 to Phoenix.

On the same day In Philadelphia, a passenger and an airline employee were charged with trying to smuggle a Smith & Wesson 9- mm semi-automatic handgun through an employees' entrance at Philadelphia International Airport.

The plan, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, was for Roshid Milledge, 38, of Philadelphia - a US Airways employee - to smuggle the gun into the airport so that it would be available for Damien Young, 29, of Phoenix, aboard US Airways Flight 1195, bound for Phoenix.

After receiving a call from The Tampa Tribune about the Tampa arrest, a Philadelphia FBI spokesman said his agency is now looking into whether the two arrests are related. The FBI will also see if these two arrests are connected to any other cases around the country. Philadelphia FBI spokesman Frank Burton Jr said "We want to find out if there are any other similar incidents around the country that we can connect, in terms of whether people brought weapons on to airlines in general, because we had the one here and the one in Tampa," he said. "We want to see if there is a nexus here."

Weapons on planes: Two cases, same day, time, destination and airline
Robert Anglen, The Arizona Republic
Published Wednesday, June 17, 2009
At the same time and on the same day, passengers attempted to smuggle weapons aboard two different U.S. Airways flights bound for Phoenix this month.

On the morning of June 4th, the FBI says an airline employee in Philadelphia helped his friend bypass security and onto a plane with an unloaded handgun in his bag. At about the same time, a man with ties to a controversial Islamic school was arrested for allegedly trying to secret a 7-inch butcher knife onto a Tampa flight.

Bill Warner, a Sarasota, Fla., private investigator who has worked with federal agencies on terrorist-related issues, says the cases should raise red flags.
He says his investigation found that the man arrested in Tampa,
Raed Abduhl-Rahman Alsaif, 24, is a 2003 graduate of the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Va., a madrasa, or Islamic school, that has ben accused in the past of supporting radical Islamic causes and having potential terrorist ties. Federal authorities would not comment on Alsaif's alleged ties to the Islamic Saudi Academy.

In 2005, New York
Sen. Charles Schumer called for an investigation into the Academy after the arrests of graduates and employees on terrorist -related charges, including one graduate who was accused of providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to assassinate the President of the United States.
Alsaif, who has two previous arrests on drug charges, was stopped during a security check on his way to boarding Flight 1077 to Phoenix.

In a criminal complaint, federal authorities say the Santoku carving knife in Alsaif's bag was "artfully concealed between the outside fabric and the expandable pull handles of the bag." After his arrest, authorities say Alsaif told them the bag belonged to a friend and he did not know about the knife.

Federal investigators say the friend was subsequently interviewed and denied owning the bag or the knife and had not given them to Alsaif.

In the Philadelphia case, roomates Damien Young, 29, and Roshid Milledge, 38, were arrested after authorities say the men smuggled an unloaded handgun aboard Flight 1195 to Phoenix.

The FBI reported that Young, who was moving to Phoenix, asked Milledge, a customer service for U.S. Airways, about the procedures for carrying a gun on a plane.

The FBI says Milledge carried a 9 mm gun in a bag through an employee entrance then switched it with one Young was carrying on the other side of a security check point. An alert passenger noticed the exchange and notified security.

The plane was taxiing out of the gate when it was recalled to the airport where both men were arrested.

Bill Warner
private investigator
Sarasota Fl