Congress reviews threat of airport workers

WASHINGTON - Commercial air travel is at risk from terrorists who quietly get jobs at airports so that they can attack sensitive areas from within, a senior Homeland Security Department official told lawmakers.

There has never been such an incident, but a security supervisor at Newark Liberty Airport is facing criminal charges that nearly 20 years ago he took the identity of a New York man who was later killed. This case raised questions of whether the Transportation Security Administration knows the true identities of those who work in airports. The TSA said the man, Nigerian Bimbo Olumuyiwa Oyewole, never worked for TSA and the agency did not issue the man’s security badge.

The House Homeland Security Committee had an oversight hearing Wednesday, and a senior TSA official, assistant administrator John Sammon, said he could not assure lawmakers there were no other such cases around the country.