(CBrief) – United States Air Marshals are reportedly planning to “mutiny” against an order from President Joe Biden to leave their posts aboard commercial flights and head to the U.S.-Mexico border.
During an interview on “Fox & Friends First,” Air Marshal National Council Executive Director Sonya Labosco said that federal air marshals are outraged as the Biden administration continues to send many of them to the southern border despite renewed threats from the terrorist group al Qaeda.
“It looks absolutely insane,” Labosco told co-host Todd Piro. “We don’t understand why these decisions are being made. The intel is clear. Al Qaeda is watching for our weak areas. Our aviation is a high-risk area. We’re not protecting our aviation domain, and we’re going to the border. It is absolutely madness.”
High-level Department of Homeland Security sources told Judicial Review that “al Qaeda says upcoming attacks on the US possibly involving planes, will use new techniques and tactics.”
“We do believe it’s a violation,” Labosco said. “We do believe that DHS has overstepped their bounds. We are waiting for Congress to get sworn in, hopefully today, and we can get some movement here. We need someone to step in, in Congress, and stop the deployment of federal air marshals. This statute, when it was originally a tent and set by Congress, was not to deploy air marshals to the border, and to be clear, there is no national emergency. There’s been no national emergency declared at this point. So we’re still saying that it is we need an injunction from Congress that they cannot send us to the border.”
Labosco argued that Americans have not forgotten the devastating lessons of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I can tell you who hasn’t forgotten, we haven’t forgotten. The American people, the family and friends of those that died on 911, they haven’t forgotten. We’re not we’re not going to catch al Qaeda trying to grab an airplane down in El Paso. It’s going to happen right here in a commercial airport, in a commercial aircraft,” she said.
Earlier this month, Air Marshal National Council President David Londo told the Washington Examiner that dozens of marshals are vowing to directly disobey the order in protest. Biden’s White House ordered U.S. air marshals to the southern border given there’s a shortage of Border Patrol agents, which has fueled the immigration crisis.
“The rank and file air marshals are going to refuse to deploy and risk termination,” Londo said. “You’re almost going to have a mutiny of a federal agency, which is unheard of. Morale is so destroyed from this. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The Transportation Security Administration released a statement denying the claim, saying it is “entirely inaccurate and does not reflect the critical and professional law enforcement role these officers perform.”
“The Federal Air Marshal Service asked marshals last year to volunteer to spend a 30-day stint at the southern border helping border agents process migrants. Last month, the Biden administration made the deployments mandatory. In a letter obtained by the Examiner, Londo wrote to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, TSA Administrator David Pekoske, and Federal Air Marshal Service Director Tirrell Stevenson that the marshals had lost confidence in the officials’ ability to lead,” the Daily Wire reported.
“As it stands today, we believe that many FAMs will refuse to deploy, believing the order is reckless and leaving our country vulnerable to attack,” Londo wrote. “On behalf of our membership, stop these dangerous and irresponsible deployments before our adversaries take advantage of the opportunity this policy has provided.”
“The Federal Air Marshal Service is understaffed and covering the fewest number of flights since before September 11, 2001,” the association said. “We strongly question the decision by the Department of Homeland Security to divert much-needed aviation security to the southern border especially as we enter the busiest travel season of the year, particularly as a federal emergency has not been declared at the border.”
The Department of Homeland Security pushed back against Londo’s claims that the order sending air marshals to the southern border is leaving commercial flights unprotected.
“The suggestion that flights are being left unprotected is completely false,” the department said in a statement to Fox News. “TSA takes its responsibility to secure the skies for the traveling public very seriously. We will continue to protect commercial flights though [sic]our multi-layered security processes, including through the Federal Air Marshal Service which supports this critical mission on the ground and onboard aircraft.”