27 Sep 2006

American Samoan Homeland Security officer accused of deriliction of duty

7:23 pm on 27 September 2006

The director of the American Samoan Office of Homeland Security, Leiataua Birdsall Alailima, says recent statements by a local security officer about a plot were unsubstantiated.

This comes after the Outreach Coordinator for the Homeland Security Officer, Leota Ainuu, said a terrorist involved in the 2001 bombings in the US had entered the mainland through American Samoa.

Leiataua says Leota now admits that the statement was unsubstantiated.

According to Leiataua's statement, Leota apologises for making such erroneous statements and regrets any negative impacts caused locally and within the region.

Leiataua also says his office regrets what it calls the dereliction of duty by one of its employees and what he terms irresponsible reporting on sensitive issues.