Kirk wants State Dept. to share info on passport checks

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U.S. Sen Mark Kirk, noting that two of the passengers on the missingMalaysiaAirlines flight were apparently flying on stolen passports,says it’s time American travelers were better informed about whichcountries check for stolen passports and which ones don’t.

“My concern is that Americans should know when they fly to thosecountries that do not routinely use [INTERPOL’s]database,” said Kirk,talking to reporters at his Loop office Friday.

Kirk, who said92 percent of O’Hare Airport’s international flightsare to countries that don’t check, is proposing that the U.S.Department of State include information about which countiesparticipate on the department’s website and the websites of U.S.embassies.

The United States and Great Britain are among a handful of countriesthat check, Kirk said.

“Today we have an opportunity to get ahead of the terrorists, … ”said Robert Pape, a University of Chicago professor and the directorof the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism who joined Kirk. “This is a securitygap we can do something about, and we shouldn’t wait for an attack tooccur with tremendous harm.”

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