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Arab Biz May Run Nyc Port


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Why the hell is this being allowed?


The city's ports, considered a major target of terrorists, are about to be taken over by a firm based in the United Arab Emirates, a country with financial links to the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Dubai Ports World is set to complete a $6.8 billion deal to purchase Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., a London company that already runs commercial port operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami.

If shareholders approve the deal tomorrow, it will give control of various dock operations at some of the country's busiest points of entry to UAE-headquartered DP World.

The FBI has said most of the money for the 2001 terror attacks was funneled to hijackers through UAE banks, and much of the planning took place in the small but rich nation east of Saudi Arabia.

Steven Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said the deal is still under review but noted it only involved the management of one port terminal in New Jersey.

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record) urged the Bush administration to reconsider the sale.

"We should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties," Schumer said.

Despite these concerns, the move has been given the stamp of approval by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an arm of the Treasury Department.

The CFI "thoroughly reviewed the potential transaction and concluded they had no objection," said a DP World official.

The committee earlier agreed to consider concerns about the deal expressed by Miami-based Eller & Co., according to Eller's lawyer, Michael Kreitzer. Eller is a business partner with the British shipping giant.

"When you have a foreign government involved, you are injecting foreign national interests," Kreitzer said. "A country that may be a friend of ours today may not be on the same side tomorrow."

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