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request, no personal effects or property has been returned to the next of kin on the grounds that these items may be needed in the criminal investigation of future criminal cases. While we appreciate that there may be good cause to hold some luggage found near the bomb blast, we believe the personal effects removed from the identified bodies should be returned to the victim families within the next week. Other victim property which is stored in a large factory warehouse in Lockerbie, should also be identified and returned. To date, despite several requests, no lost luggage forms have been sent to victim family members to accomplish this task. We call on the Scottish authorities, especially Scottish Home Secretary Malcolm Rifkind and the Scottish Lord Advocate, Lord Cameron of Lochbroom, to promptly authorize the release of victim personal effects and expedite the identification and return of other property. In conclusion, we call on President Bush to act on the ideals he has championed. Please, Mr. President, break your silence and exercise your leadership to redouble the efforts of the Federal Government to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this, the worst terrorist attack in history on American civilians. Use your power to restore genuine security for Americans travelling on American international air carriers. End the Government's present immoral policy of providing selective warnings and alerts to certain favored persons while keeping the public and airline employees whose lives are at risk in ignorance. To the Congress which will decide the degree to which it will investigate the Flight 103 bombing over the next several weeks, we urge you to conduct a full and complete investigation. Unlike most accidental air crashes, where the role of the FAA itself is not at issue, this case demands a full independent investigation of FAA's actions on the security and warning issues. We particularly call on Senators Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Alfonse D'Amato (N.Y.), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (N.Y.), and Members of Congress Glenn Anderson, Norman Mineta, William Lehman, and Cardiss Collins who by virtue of their committee and sub-committee chairmanships have a special leadership role in the issues involved in the Flight 103 disaster.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Our next witnesses are a panel of experts in security issues in aviation. Those have been very close to this most recent incident and very serious problem of the destruction of Pan Am flight 103. Again, the point of our hearing is not to inquire into a specific incident, but to look into the basic issues involving security. The Chair will now call Mr. Monte Belger, Associate Administrator for Aviation Standards of the FAA; Mr. Raymond Salazar, Director, Civil Aviation Security for the FAA; Ambassador Clayton McManaway, Associate Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism at the State Department; and Ms. Irene Howie, Assistant Chief Counsel for International Affairs and Legal Policies for the FAA. Mr. OBERSTAR. We thank you very much for being with us this morning. I see there are two additional panelists. Mr. McManaway, are they on your team? Ambassador McMANAwAY. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I would like to introduce—— M. OBERSTAR. Would you introduce them? Thank you very InUICIm. Ambassador McMANAwaY [continuing]. Two colleagues from the Department of State. To my immediate left is Ambassador Bob Ryan, who is the Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs; and on his left Gene Griffith who is the Director of the Office of Aviation Policy, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs in the Department of State. Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very, very much. Mr. Ambassador and Dr. McManaway, since we have two, I would like to express a personal welcome and appreciation for your participation. For my colleagues on the committee, I might say I came to know Ambassador McManaway some years ago when he was serving as U.S. ambassador to Haiti in one of the most diffici and yet one of the most rejoiceful periods of time when Haiti w free from the despotism of the Duvalier family. Ambassador McManaway was our man on the spot, handling t transition, moving the Duvalier family out of the country, worki with the transition to a new and at that time very hopefully democratic regime who steered U.S. efforts in Haiti to bring abo a peaceful transition without bloodshed and one that yet I ho will lead to democracy in Haiti. He served this country with great distinction in one of its mo difficult periods and one that could have been explosive, but stead was a very peaceful transition. Ambassador McMANAway. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Belger, we would like to take your stateme first and then we'll proceed to Ambassador McManaway.
TESTIMONY OF MONTE BELGER, ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATO FOR AVIATION STANDARDS, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTR TION, ACCOMPANIED BY RAYMOND SALAZAR, DIRECTO CIVIL AVIATION SECURITY, FAA, AND ARLENE HOWIE, ASSIS ANT CHIEF COUNSEL FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AN LEGAL POLICY, FAA; AND AMBASSADOR CLAYTON McMANAWAY, JR., ASSOCIATE COORDINATOR, OFFICE OF TH AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR COUNTERTERRORISM, DEPAR MENT OF STATE, ACCOMPANIED BY AMBASSADOR BOB RYA ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR CONSULAR AFFAIF AND GENE GRIFFITH, DIRECTOR OF AVIATION POLIC BUREAU OF ECNOMIC AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS, DEPARTMEl OF STATE
Mr. BELGER. Thank you. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am Mon Belger, the FAA's Associate Administrator for Aviation Standar With me is Mr. Raymond Salazar who is our Director of Civil Av. tion Security and Ms. Trene Howie who is our Assistant Ch. Counsel for International Affairs and Legal Policy. With your permission, I would like to make a very brief sta ment at this point and my formal statement submitted for t record. Mr. OBERSTAR. Without objection, the complete statement will included in the record. You may summarize as you wish. Mr. BELGER. Despite efforts to strengthen security procedur civil aviation continues to be a target for and vulnerable to crin nal and terrorist acts. The criminal destruction of Pan Am flig 103 tragically reminds us that there is much to be done to thwa cowardly and despicable acts of terrorism. There is no higher pric ity in the FAA. The challenge we face is complex. We must continue to find wa to bring our best technology and our best people to attack th problem. As I described in my prepared statement, we have in place intensive program to combat criminal acts against civil aviatic We conduct an aggressive program of foreign airport assessmer as called for in the International Security and Development Cooperation Act. Since the inception of this program in 1986, we have conducted roughly 800 assessments of 216 foreign airports in over 100 countries. We believe this program has aided in attaining security improvements at many foreign airports. The Act enables us to conduct assessments, provides general guidance concerning the nature of assessments to be conducted and prescribes a workable and appropriate approach toward public notification of uncorrected problems at foreign airports—all of this in a manner which highlights the need for a cooperative approach toward solving security problems. We have, as has been discussed, accelerated the delivery schedule of the thermal neutron analysis units we have ordered for explosive detection. This system is the result of three years of FAA-directed research on an explosive detection system that has the capability to detect commercial and military explosives which might be concealed in checked baggage and air cargo. The first TNA system will be installed at JFK Airport in June. Research is also continuing on an explosive vapor detection system for checking people for explosives. We hope to have an improved device available for testing late this year. We're also continuing to develop improved weapons detection capabilities and are evaluating state-of-the-art detection equipment. We will continue to encourage new ideas from the scientific and academic community to develop better technology. We are working in the international arena to develop an effective international approach to end terrorism in the skies. Last month I had the opportunity to accompany Secretary Skinner at a council session of the International Civil Aviation Organization called specifically to address the sabotage of Pan Am flight 103. As a result of that meeting, the 33-member ICAO council unanimously adopted a resolution setting out a plan of action that I am confijoin lead to strengthened security procedures throughout the WOrld. Last week Secretary Skinner also announced changes to FAA regulations which will require foreign airlines to submit their security plans to the FAA for review. I think the FAA will now be in a better position to insure that security precautions used by foreign airlines serving the United States are adequate. We have established the past several years a better framework for the assessment and dissemination of threat information. In the past several days we have become aware of matters that question the efficiency of this system. To determine what more can be done to improve this system, Secretary Skinner has dispatched a team of his personal representatives to Europe to assess the effectiveness of our information exchange and dissemination process. The evaluation will look at ways to improve the timely exchange of information related to threats against civil aviation, and I believe the team will report to Secretary Skinner as early as the end of this week. In closing this very brief statement, Mr. Chairman, I would like to emphasize my commitments and the commitment of my staff and all of FAA to stop the threat of criminal actions directed against civil aviation. We face an extremely difficult challenge, but one that we must meet. I thank the subcommittee for its support of the FAA's aviation security efforts and I look forward to working with each of you on these key issues which obviously are so important to all of us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We’ll obviously be glad to try to answer any questions. Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Belger, do any of the other members of your FAA team have a statement to make at this point? Mr. BELGER. No, sir. We'll be glad to respond to questions that you may have Mr. OBERSTAR. Fine, fine. Ambassador McManaway, we would like to have your statement at this point. Ambassador McMANAway. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, would like to summarize my statement and submit the full statement for the record. Mr. OBERSTAR. Please proceed. Thank you. Ambassador MCMANAway. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before this committee. In keeping with the general focus of this hearing, I will limit my testimony to reviewing three broad issues: the U.S. Government threat assessment and public notification system regarding threats to civil aviation; the Department of State's diplomatic research and training efforts to help prevent a repetition of the Pan Am 103 tragedy, and the ways that we incorporate aviation security concerns into our bilateral civil aviation agreements. The callous destruction of Pan Am flight 103 on December 21, 1988 was a terrible international tragedy. All of us deeply regret the loss suffered by families and friends of those on Pan Am 103 and the people of Lockerbie. Let me assure all concerned that everything possible is being done to investigate this incident, bring to justice those responsible, and enhance aviation security to help prevent a repetition of this tragic event. Mr. Chairman, a central issue in countering the threat posed by terrorism involves assessing and disseminating information on possible terrorist threats. I would like to use this opportunity, if I may, to clarify what we knew about these threats, when we knew them, and what we did with the information and why. First, the so-called “Helsinki threat”, which was a threat made in an anonymous telephone call to our embassy in Helsinki on 5 December. It was reported to Washington and the FAA issued an aviation security bulletin on 7 December. The threat was to a Pan American flight from Frankfurt to the United States during the subsequent two-week period. A bomb was supposed to be carried onto the plane by an unsuspecting Finnish woman. Note that no specific flight number, date, or itinerary was provided. There was no threat, not even a false one, specific to Pan American 103. By 10 December the Finnish authorities determined that this threat was a hoax. However, we left in place the enhanced security for the period. We did not relieve the enhanced security measures that were taken.
In the wake of the Pan Am bombing, this so-called threat was thoroughly reinvestigated by the government of Finland, the United States Government, and other concerned governments. It is our unanimous conclusion that the Helsinki threat was baseless. In this case, however, the threat was a horrifying coincidence with what someone else did to Pan Am 103. Concerning the threat from the PFLP General Command, CPFLP-GC in late October 1988 West German authorities arrested 14 suspected members of this terrorist organization. In November we learned that among the evidence seized during those arrests was a bomb hidden in a Toshiba radio and which included a barometric pressure triggering device. The FAA issued on 18 November an aviation security bulletin to U.S. carriers to warn them about the presence of these terrorists in Europe, the existence of this bomb, its characteristics, and to advise that increased security measures should be introduced to counter the potential threat of such a bomb. This bulletin remains in effect today. Mr. Chairman, this was a general warning. It was not a threat to any specific airline or specific flight. In view of the publicity that these two aviation bulletins have received and their possible links to the destruction of Pan Am 103, I would like to emphasize several critical points about them. There is no connection between the Helsinki threat which turned out to be a hoax and the bomb made by the PLFP GC. There was never any threat specifically made to Pan Am flight 103 on 21 December or any other date. The Helsinki threat, as I have said, was a hoax. It had no relation whatsoever to the bombing of Pan Am 103. In explaining how we react to possible threats to civil aviation, may I take a moment to describe the broader context of how the United States analyzes terrorist threat information? Mr. Chairman, I might say that some of this I can go into in greater detail in the closed session. Mr. OBERSTAR. Please do. Before you go on, since members will have questions, may I ask you at this point to elaborate on how the Department knew that the Helsinki threat was a hoax? Ambassador McMANAway. This was the result of the investigation by the government of Finland and work with our intelligence services. The caller was known to the government of Finland. He had made similar calls to the Israeli embassy making similar threats. It was determined that he was able to concoct his story simply by using available unclassified information about flights. This has now been reinvestigated by our Government, the government of Finland, the German government, the Israeli government, and all four governments agree that it was baseless. Mr. OBERSTAR. The other governments, governments other than the United States and Finland, concurred in the designation of that threat as a hoax? Ambassador McMANAway. Yes, sir, correct. Mr. OBERSTAR. Please proceed. Ambassador McMANAway. I will try to be even briefer than I’ve been. It's taking a little bit too long here.