G4S link again exposes lax screening of nuclear personnel
The revelation that Omar Mateen worked for the G4S security
firm, responsible by its own admission for security
at 90% of this
country's nuclear power plants, once again raises questions
about grossly inadequate internal screening of those working
at U.S. nuclear sites.
Mateen, who murdered at least 49 people and injured dozens
more on June 12 inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, did
not work at nuclear plants. But G4S, formerly Wackenhut,
has a woeful track record of lax oversight. In 2007, the
company notoriously lost 10 nuclear power plant contracts
after secret videotape at the Peach Bottom, PA nuclear power
plant showed security
guards sleeping on the job.
There have been other scandals. Sharif Mobley, arrested in
2010 in Yemen
as a suspected Al Qaeda
operative, had worked at three New Jersey nuclear
power plants. The notorious William Clark created an alias
"Zeke the assassin"
and a fake background as a mercenary to become head of
security at the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan.
Nuclear plants are considered prime terrorist targets. The 9/11
Commission report, released in July 2004, noted
that Mohamed Atta, who piloted one of the planes that hit
the World Trade Center, "considered targeting a nuclear
facility he had seen during familiarization flights near New
York." The plant in question is Indian Point, just 30 miles
from midtown Manhattan. And after the March 2016 attacks in
Brussels, the two nuclear plants in Belgium were all
but locked down.