Arabic Assassin Fired As Baggage Screener

A rapper who calls himself the “Arabic Assassin” and rhymes about his plans to reenact September 11 has been fired as a TSA baggage screener.

Houston Rapper Fired As Baggage Screener (AP – Newsday)

When Bassam Khalaf raps, he’s the Arabic Assassin. His unreleased CD, “Terror Alert,” includes rhymes about flying a plane into a building and descriptions of himself as a “crazy, suicidal Arabic … equipped with bombs.” Until last week, Khalaf also worked as a baggage screener at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. “I’ve been screening your bags for the past six months, and you don’t even know it,” said Khalaf, who also said Thursday that he is not really a terrorist and that his rhymes are exaggerations meant to gain publicity.

Andrea McCauley, a spokeswoman for the regional Transportation Security Administration office in Dallas, said the agency checks criminal records before hiring screeners, but it does not investigate what people do in their spare time. “We have eyes and ears in the workplace,” McCauley said. “Once we discovered these Web sites, we fired him.”

An Internet search of Khalaf’s name brings up Web sites that feature his obscene, violent and misogynistic raps that threaten to fly a plane into a building on Sept. 11, 2005.

Khalaf, 21, was hired on Jan. 16 and fired July 7, according to a TSA termination letter that cited his “authorship of songs which applaud the efforts of the terrorists on September 11th, encourage and warn of future acts of terrorism by you, discuss at length and in grave and alarming detail various criminal acts you intend to commit, state your belief that the U.S. government should be overthrown, and finally warn that others will die on September 11, 2005.”

Khalaf, who was born in Houston and is of Palestinian descent, said working as a baggage screener was the best paying job he’s ever had. He said he hoped to use any extra money he earned to produce his CD.

It’s probable that this guy is merely an idiot rather than a terrorist. Either way, I don’t want him in charge of airport security.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Zsa Zsa says:

    Yikes!…Where do all these idiots come from? It is pretty bad when your baggage screener is of Palestinian desent! …BUT… When he is rapping about September 11th. !!! THAT takes the CAKE! It bothers me that we are educating these individuals! Allowing foreigners from hostile countries to be educated should be stopped! ASAP! This is not their right! They are not Americans! Americans need to realize our rights and freedoms are being trampled on by foreigners from these hostile countries! We are basically teaching them to prepare chemicals and bombs so they can blow everything and everyone up!

  2. DC Loser says:

    “It is pretty bad when your baggage screener is of Palestinian desent !”

    Some people would agree about them uppity colored folks having certain jobs too.

  3. ALS says:

    Where do all these idiots come from?… Americans need to realize our rights and freedoms are being trampled on by foreigners from these hostile countries!

    Uh, Zsa Zsa,

    The article clearly says the idiot was born in HOUSTON. That’s HOUSTON, TEXAS. That’s TEXAS in the UNITED STATES.

    That’s it – let’s shut the doors to our country because one of our own home-growns is an idiot.

    The London train bombers were British citizens.

    Haven’t we learned that citizenship is not necessarily an indicator of terrorist activity?

  4. LJD says:

    When a military background check is requested, it includes the origin of your extended family, parents, siblings, grandparents, step-parents, step-siblings, any one to whom they have been or are still married to, etc. I would say that Palestinian origin, regardless of where an individual was born, would raise certain flags.

    If we do this for citizens and non-citizens who volunteer to defend our country, shouldn’t we do the same for those responsible for domestic security?

    As for this rap-idiot, why not revoke citizenship for such stupidity?

  5. DC Loser says:

    Last I heard the First Amendment still applied to idiots and assholes. Unless he crossed the line and did something criminal then he can say whatever he wants. Certainly the content of his rap lyrics aren’t that much more offensive then most of the genre.

  6. ALS says:

    Last I heard the First Amendment still applied to idiots and assholes.

    Last I heard, it’s still against the law to incite violence, make specific threats, and advocate the overthrow of the government.

    It ain’t free speech to yell “fire” in a crowded theater.

    And it ain’t free speech for an airport security screener to openly advocate and threaten more 9/11-like terror attacks.

  7. janine says:

    “Last I heard, it’s still against the law to incite violence, make specific threats, and advocate the overthrow of the government”

    In that case, all rap music is illegal.

  8. ALS says:

    In that case, all rap music is illegal.

    If it clearly incites violence, and it makes specific threats of violence and murder (including dates), and clearly advocates overthrowing the government, then yes, Janine, it IS against the law.

    This is very disconcerting that some of you here are ignorant of the whole concept of free speech.

    It’s like calling in a false bomb threat, or shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, or publishing a book calling for the assassination of the President. All of which are illegal.

    The guy clearly crossed the line into criminal behavoir.

    … his obscene, violent and misogynistic raps that threaten to fly a plane into a building on Sept. 11, 2005.

    That is NOT free speech, people. Get yourself educated on basic law.

    Geesh.

  9. Anderson says:

    Best post title in a long time, btw.

  10. Rox says:

    Wow, the commies really came out of the woodwork for this one. “Fire in a crowded theatre”???…PLease. You guys should move back to China where you can worship the state 24/7: )

  11. Rox says:

    That is NOT free speech, people. Get yourself educated on basic law.

    I am educated. And you’re wrong.

  12. Idiot says:

    He is from Texas and Bush is from Texas too is isn’t that funny!

    checking the family root of everyone in the US government will prove to you that many of them doesn’t even speak English at home nor their fathers were born in the USA, and many even didn’t drop their original citizenship

    let’s start with hhhhmmmmm