Egyptian authorities are barring several U.S. citizens — including Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s
son — from leaving the country after Egyptian government forces
raided the offices of Washington-backed groups monitoring recent parliamentary elections there.
LaHood is director of the Egyptian program for the International
Republican Institute, a nongovernmental organization with close ties to
GOP congressional leadership. He attempted to board an airplane in Cairo
on Saturday to leave the country but was told he was on a “no-fly list”
and was refused permission to depart.
These Americans now find themselves caught in a power
struggle between the United States and Egyptian governments over the
country’s future direction. Direct intervention by President Barack
Obama and other top administration officials has failed to resolve the
NGO dispute, although U.S. officials are hopeful it can be defused soon.
The no-fly order for Americans is a new wrinkle — and ups the ante politically.