Anti-terrorist security discovers 69 employees with security clearance lied about their status
With less than two months to go before the Olympics, Operation Safe Travel has cleaned house at the Salt Lake City Airport, arresting 69 workers for lying to their employers about their immigration status or criminal background, and providing false Social Security numbers on their security badge applications.
"These are people who have misrepresented who they are," said Paul Warner of the U.S. Attorneys Office. "Through their use of false information and altered or counterfeit documents, they were able to obtain security badges that put them one swipe away from access to the most secure areas of the airport."
Most of the suspects were Mexican, all are thought to be in the country illegally, and all but eight workers had top security clearance. Theres no indication that any of the suspects were involved in terrorist activities, but with the Olympics considered to be a top target after the events of Sept. 11, nobody is taking any chances.
The workers were not in the employ of the airport, but of private companies under contract by the airport to provide security screening, cleaning, refueling, maintenance and catering.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service will also initiate action against 200 other airport employees who are in the country illegally. None of these employees are being charged with a criminal offence, but they will lose their jobs.
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has promised the tightest security for the 29 th Winter Olympics, including screening all bags for explosives.