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What if illegal immigrants had been IS terrorists?

Posted January. 27, 2016 07:11,   

Updated January. 27, 2016 07:17


Two Chinese transit passengers, who claimed that they left the U.S. to head for China via Japan and Korea, entered Incheon International Airport and sneaked into Korea only to be caught by police in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, four days later. The unimaginable accident happened as they targeted an immigration desk among five empty immigration desks after 11 p.m. on Thursday when all the employees left work. They passed the duty free zone, the gate of the immigration desk, an automatic door beside the passport control and the security check. They took out the hinge to open the final door connecting to the lobby of the airport to step on the Korean soil. They said it took just 14 minutes to pass the four gates of the airport, which boasts one of the world’s highest level of security.

The problem was that a night security guard was not at the immigration desk as instructed in the manual on that day. Moreover, the security guard did not stop them from taking out the hinge because he thought that the illegal immigrants were fixing the door. Why did the security guard not ask them what happened at all? The Incheon International Airport Corporation checked surveillance cameras 43 hours after they illegally entered into Korea and the Korea Immigration Service of the Justice Ministry contacted it. This reflects the gross mismanagement of entities that are responsible for the airport.

There is an old Korean saying that 10 policemen cannot even catch a thief. The airport has staff from the Justice Ministry and the Incheon International Airport Corporation and even security guards. It is also well known that the National Information Service, though not active in public, serves as a control tower in flight security and immigration management. Nevertheless, they failed not only to block overnight illegal immigration but also to catch the illegal immigrants early on.

This year alone, Islamic State terrorists directed suicide bombings at soft targets in Turkey and Indonesia. What if the illegal Chinese immigrants had been Islamic State terrorists with a plan to make a similar attack? It sends shivers down the spine. In such case, innocent people would be affected, not knowing who they are and why they do so. The government has repeatedly stressed that not passing the anti-terrorism bill would put Koreans in peril. Even a good anti-terrorism law will be no use if a general security procedure is not observed adequately as was the case with the recent accident.