Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Threat seen in Saudi women trying to learn to drive

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

WOMEN BEHIND THE WHEEL: The ban on Saudi women driving in their home country is controversial. It apparently causes some concern in Arkansas, too.
  • Morocco World News
  • WOMEN BEHIND THE WHEEL: The ban on Saudi women driving in their home country is controversial. It apparently causes some concern in Arkansas, too.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management issued a general threat warning recently based on a report from a driving school in Northwest Arkansas that 20 Saudi Arabian women were seeking driving lessons.

They were students at the University of Arkansas. Cooler heads decided there was nothing to worry about.

According to the Department of Emergency Management, the students e-mailed the school Sept. 3 requesting driving lessons, but did not respond to a query for more information. The e-mail came from the Saudi students organization at the University of Arkansas.

But the fact that female Saudi students wanted to learn how to drive — which is prohibited in their country — was not deemed a credible threat by any of the agencies that ADEM contacted about the driving school's report. That would be the Department of Homeland Security, the ATF, the TSA, FEMA, the FBI and the Secret Service. (See jump for text of DEM report.)

Kimma Harper, president of the driving academy, declined to talk to the Times right away, saying she needed to check with someone and call back. We also couldn't reach any of the Saudi students. We don't know yet if any lessons have begun.

Chad Stover, the public information officers for ADEM, said it was probably the number involved that triggered the threat message. He said the checklist that ADEM uses before it issues such an alert does not use nationality as a trigger. He said the duty officers who take the calls take into account the concerns of the caller. "If they were worried about 20 Baptists [for example], we would have gotten involved in the same way," he said.

"We would encourage people to get driving lessons," he said.

TEXT OF EMAIL SENT TO ARKANSAS LAW AGENCIES BY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

Public Threat - General Benton Co

The Driving Academy of Northwest Arkansas reported 20 Saudi Arabian women are requesting to learn how to drive. She received an email requesting driving training on September 3. She replied back on September 5 stating she had some questions for them. They haven't answered back. They stated in their request that they are with the Saudi Students Organization at University of Arkansas. (Notified: Local Coordinator, Area Coordinator, Deputy Director, Director, Hazmat Program Manager, PIO, Fusion Center, ATF, Department of Homeland Security Protective Security Adviser, ESF 2, ESF 8, FBI, FEMA Region VI, JTTF, TSA, U.S. Secret Service)

Tags: ,

Favorite

Speaking of Arkansas Culture And Characters

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Architecture lecture: Sheila Kennedy on "soft" design

    Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • UA's Walton School eyes downtown location for executive ed program

    The Walton College of Business is working to expand its executive education by opening an office in downtown Little Rock that would offer non-degree programs to the health, banking and finance and retail industries in Central Arkansas, the school confirmed today.
    • Feb 18, 2017
  • Crystal Bridges acquires Alice Neel portrait

    American portrait painter Alice Neel's painting of civil rights activist Hugh Hurd is now a part of the collection at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

"Locally Labeled" passport expands to accommodate booming brew scene

"Locally Labeled" passport expands to accommodate booming brew scene

As if great beer weren't reward enough, you can earn prizes for sampling local craft beverages

Most Viewed

  • Cotton seeks friendlies for town hall

    Is Tom Cotton working to pack his town hall Wednesday in Springdale with fans. So says one source.
  • NRA opposes campus carry bill as amended

    The NRA, which calls most shots on gun bills in Arkansas, now opposes the campus carry bill primarily because it adds an additional training requirement before anyone 25 and older can take a concealed weapon on a public college campus.
  • House committee approves vote suppression amendment

    A House committee today talked about stripping colleges and the Highway Department of power and tightening procedures on constitutional amendments but in the end voted as Chairman Bob Ballinger orchestrated and expected — to put a Voter ID amendment on the 2018 ballot.
  • Prosecutor Cody Hiland says analysis indicates Damascus is a speed trap

    Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland has announced completion of a State Police analysis of Damascus police speed limit enforcement and concluded that statistics indicate tickets are written in excess of limits in law that define speed traps.
  • City board squelches Little Rock school talk

    A letter from Little Rock school activist Dr. Anika Whitfield happens to underscore a point I made earlier today — and in a column to be published this week. It lays some of the school district's problems on benign neglect, and sometimes malice, of the Little Rock City Board.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation