The son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood got stopped when he tried to board a plane out of Cairo, apparently because Egyptian authorities are still trying to decide whether a non-governmental organization he runs there broke the law. Sam LaHood [at left in the photo], who leads the International Republican Institute in Cairo, is among a group of Americans stopped from leaving the country after Egyptian authorities raided NGO offices last month. LaHood apparently didn't know about the travel ban until he tried to fly somewhere in the region on Saturday, CNN reports. "An airport official told him he was banned from traveling outside Egypt, the official said, though LaHood was not told why."
Weirdly, as Politico points out, some Washington lobbying firms have signed on to work with the Egyptian government to shore up its claim that the U.S.-based NGOs were operating outside the law. They circulated talking points saying the groups, including IRI, were operating without licenses. So the political cover those lobbyists are building up in Washington now appears to be protecting the Egyptian authorities detaining the foreign workers.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.