View Full Version : 'terror alert' rapper fired from bag screening job

07-15-2005, 07:23 PM
'Terror Alert' rapper fired from bag screening job

July 15, 2005

HOUSTON -- When Bassam Khalaf raps, he's the Arabic Assassin. His unreleased CD, ''Terror Alert,'' includes rhymes about flying a plane into a building and descriptions of himself as a ''crazy, suicidal Arabic ... equipped with bombs.''

Until two weeks ago, Khalaf also worked as a baggage screener at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

''I kept my music and my job separate,'' said Khalaf, 21, who also said Thursday that he is not really a terrorist and that his rhymes are exaggerations.

Andrea McCauley, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration office in Dallas, said the agency checks criminal records before hiring screeners, but does not investigate what people do in their spare time. ''We have eyes and ears in the workplace,'' she said. ''Once we discovered these Web sites, we fired him.'' Khalaf was hired Jan. 16 and fired July 7.

An Internet search of his name brings up Web sites that feature his obscene, violent and misogynistic raps that threaten to fly a plane into a building on Sept. 11, 2005.

Khalaf, who is of Palestinian descent, said his terrorist-themed rhymes are more about marketing. ''Controversy sells,'' he said. AP