America is risking “another 9/11” by diverting air marshals off planes and onto other operations, the president of the Air Marshal National Council warned in a direct address to Joe Biden.
In recent weeks, federal marshals have been diverted from their usual jobs as covert travelers assessing and monitoring terrorist threats to help at the US-Mexico border, according to Sonja Labosco of the Air Marshal National Council.
She told FOX News marshals are now present on less than 1% of flights and instead sent to assist Border Patrol dealing with migrants, who are currently overwhelming the southern border.
“Let’s stop another 9/11,” she said in a message to President Biden.
“There have been numerous incidents — a level 4 threat which means someone tried to breach a cockpit two days ago on a Southwest flight. So the message is, ‘Sir, please replace the air marshals on the border. Stop taking them out of the sky and let us do the job that we were trained to do.”
During normal operations, marshals are on board more than 5% of all flights, Labosco said.
“These ground-based duties that they’re pulling us out of the sky to go to are demolishing out chances of stopping another 9/11,” she added referring to the attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001.
She said her organization, a branch of the Transport Security Administration, has sent a letter asking the Biden Administration to return air marshals to commercial flights, but have not heard back from the White House.
“We wrote him another letter over the weekend because we had a level four and a level three incident,” explained Lobosco. “Level three … means there were life-threatening behaviors on one of those aircraft. An individual had a straight razor to a passenger’s throat. These are very serious incidents.”
On November 21, Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, of Syracuse, Utah, was arrested after he held a straight razor to another passneger’s throat during a flight from New York to Salt Lake City.
Earlier this month a Frontier Airlines flight out of Cincinnati was heading for Tampa, but made an emergency landing in Atlanta Friday after another unhinged traveler began threatening fellow passengers with a boxcutter. Both men had passed airport security with the weapons.
The pleas from the Air Marshal National Council come at a time when the airlines are at their busiest during the holiday season.
Despite the shift in federal agents to the border, the Secretary of the Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas refused to acknowledge there is a border crisis during Congressional hearings two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Republicans who are set to take control of Congress in January have called on Mayorkas to resign or face impeachment hearings when they take control of the House of Representatives next year.