WASHINGTON, DC -- Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, issued the following statement following news of a foiled bombing plot against JFK International Airport planned by a Muslim terrorist cell that included a former air cargo worker who had been previously employed at the airport."Law enforcement and homeland security officials should be commended for thwarting what could have been another devastating terrorist attack against our country. The foiled plot against JFK International Airport reminds us of terrorists' ongoing determination to strike our airports, pipelines and other critical infrastructure. The involvement of a former air cargo worker in the formulation of this elaborate scheme is particularly chilling. I call on the Bush Administration to immediately drop its opposition to my efforts to require all cargo carried on passenger planes to be screened for explosives before it is loaded onboard.

"Currently, most of this commercial cargo is not screened - leaving a gaping security loophole that could be exploited by a terrorist – such as the former air cargo employee involved in the JFK airport bombing plot. As differences are reconciled between the House and Senate versions of legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, I will continue to work to ensure that the strongest possible air cargo security provision is included in the final version of the legislation. We cannot afford to let such an obvious vulnerability continue to put our nation at risk.”

June 2, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer