Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been removed from the U.S. government’s terror watch list, a New York congressman said Tuesday.
Adams, who leads the Irish Republican Army-linked party, was delayed at a Washington airport on St. Patrick’s Day because of security concerns. Just hours earlier, he had been a guest of President Bush at the White House.
U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat from Buffalo, and other lawmakers complained to Transportation Security Administration officials. Higgins said that during a private meeting with TSA officials Tuesday, they told him Adams was no longer on the list.
The lawmaker said it was still unclear which federal agency had “nominated” Adams for placement on the list, but he is determined to find out.
Because he was convicted for an IRA-related crime in the early 1970s, Adams requires a special travel waiver when he travels to the United States.
“There’s an agreement that in the event he travels in the future between domestic point A and B that he be given consideration, given the demands on his time and attention,” said Higgins.
The congressman is also pressing the agency to reveal what other Sinn Fein leadership members are on the watch list and have them removed as well.
“This matter is not closed. I will persist until Sinn Fein staff, those who have become instrumental in the movement towards peace and the implementation of the Good Friday Accords, are removed as well,” said Higgins.