U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan looking into 14 year old’s extra screening at airport
By The Associated Press
CONCORD, N.H. — U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan’s office says it is looking into the case of a 14-year-old New Hampshire boy whose family says he was pulled aside this month for additional screening ahead of his flight to a baseball tournament in Florida.
By The Associated Press
The parents of Peter Haas said Transportation Security Administration agents flagged their son as he was going through security at Boston’s Logan International Airport and told him he would have to undergo the more intensive examination. They told his parents it was not a random check and that their son could be on a list, though an official with Homeland Security later said he wasn’t.
The boy’s father, Andrew Haas, said agents pulled the soles out of his shoes, scrutinized his phone and rubbed him down for bomb residue before letting him board the Feb. 16 flight.
“Initially, we thought he was the 13th man, the random person who is kind of checked,” Haas said.
But later, an agent told them otherwise. He said the agent told his wife, “He is on a list somewhere or his name is on a list, and it’s really serious,” Haas said. “I went from kind of chuckling at my son to being a little bit worried about, you know, the long term implications. I knew my son hadn’t done anything wrong.”
Haas’ mother, Pam Jaquith said an agent said he “felt bad” about putting her son through screening, adding that most of the people given extra scrutiny had names such as “Mohammed.” “You put it together pretty quickly that his concern is terrorism,” she said.
Hassan spokeswoman Meira Bernstein the governor’s office is working with the family from Keene, New Hampshire, to address the issue.
The FBI declined to comment.
Since flying back to New Hampshire on Feb. 20 without incident, the family has been trying to find out what triggered authorities to target Peter. They have only been told by Homeland Security that he wasn’t on a terror list and that there wouldn’t be any problem going forward — something they are hoping to get in writing.
At his middle school in Keene, Peter said the whole thing has turned him into a minor celebrity — though he admitted he was completely comfortable with all the attention.
“A lot of people at school are kind of making a lot of jokes out of it,” he said. “It is a learning experience. People have to go through this every day. I’m lucky that I had to go through it once and now it’s probably over with.”
– Michael Casey
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