WASHINGTON — Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood dodged extra security screening at JFK Airport under VIP treatment provided by the State Department, internal government documents reveal.
The special treatment, known as “port courtesy,” was extended during March and April 2012, according to documents compiled by the department and turned over to the International Project on Terrorism as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.
The perk is normally reserved for visiting dignitaries.
The documents show how State and security officials laid out the welcome mat for members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party even before they took control of the Egyptian government in June 2012.
One visiting delegate, Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, was escorted through checkpoints at JFK.
“We did not hear anything further from the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] so we assume to departure went smoothly,” a department official reported.
Dardery, a senior Brotherhood member, avoided a “secondary inspection,” in which agents go through baggage and electronic equipment of passengers who might be considered security risks.
The Brotherhood won a plurality in the Egyptian parliament and its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, was elected president before being overthrown in a military-backed coup in July 2013.
The State Department had no comment.