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

  • Heights Corner Market (nee Terry's) is open

    Heights Corner Market, in the space occupied by Terry's Finer Foods since time immemorial at 5018 Kavanaugh Blvd., is open and selling fresh flowers, produce (including locally grown food), meat, seafood, organic bath and body products and organic pet products from Stella's Barkery.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • Ahoy! Blue Sail launches Saturday on Main Street

    Blue Sail Coffee Roasters opens its shop Saturday, March 25, in the Little Rock Technology Park, 417 Main St. The grand opening announcement says the shop will be in business at 7 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Mo' MoMo

    Katmandu Momo, the food truck created by Nepal native Saroja Shrestha, will open a sit-down eatery in April in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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