January 26th, 2012
09:37 AM ET

Son of Obama cabinet member unable to leave Egypt

By Elise Labott and Ben Wedeman

Sam LaHood, a senior representative of the U.S. International Republican Institute and the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, has been prevented from leaving Egypt, State Department officials said Thursday.

LaHood, who directs the International Republican Institute's office in Egypt, went to the Cairo airport on Saturday to fly somewhere "in the region," said an institute official with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

An airport official told him he was banned from traveling outside Egypt, the official said, though LaHood was not told why.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions between Egyptian authorities and several international non-governmental organizations that work in Egypt.

Egyptian security forces raided the offices of several non-governmental organizations last month, including the International Republican Institute, chaired by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and the National Democratic Institute, which was founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Both receive money from the federal government.

The raids were part of an investigation into allegations that groups may have received illegal foreign funding and may have been operating without government licenses, a spokesman for the general prosecutor's office, Adel Saeed, said at the time.

After the United States and several non-governmental organizations protested, Egypt's military rulers pledged to end the raids. They also said they would return equipment and documents that security forces had seized.

On Thursday, the State Department officials said several U.S. citizens are on a "no-exit" list after the raids. The officials asked not to be named because of the sensitive diplomatic nature of the subject.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo is providing consular assistance to the Americans involved, the officials said.

Filed under: Egypt
soundoff (20 Responses)
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  5. VersaMonk

    Americans are very nice .. right now... but not for long..... the days of machine warriors are around the corner. thats why I play my MW3 24/7 practice baby!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • furball

      BOOM! Headshot!

      January 31, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
  6. VersaMonk

    I clicked cause I thought it was the Obama's son. Tricky can playing with words as usual

    January 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • furball

      Obama has daughters, not sons.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:06 am | Reply
  7. Honest1inVA

    And so it begins!!! Some of us knew long ago exactly what would happen when the Muslim Brotherhood (major donors to Obama's 2008 campaign) took control of the middle East. They go throughout the world proclaiming to be pro-decomcracy, but once they are in office, the Shariah law comes into effect. THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR AMERICA AND THE FREE WORLD. BO IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO THESE IDIOTS-DO YOUR RESEARCH! WHY DO YOU THINK THE WH HAS DONE NOTHING BUT KISS THE BEHINDS OF THESE NITWITS?
    MY heart goes out to the poor people everywhere who thought they were finally going to have freedom!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • VersaMonk

      Seriously... I mean Seriously do you believe the muslim brotherhood sponsored Obamas campaign. Why haven't the republicans jumped all over this. Oh yes your the only moron than knows. Btw (whisper) i see dead people"

      January 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • A-Pissin'-on-the-dead-kinda-guy

      When Obama wins the next election, here's hoping that you shoot yourself.

      January 27, 2012 at 4:01 am | Reply
  8. She

    Fuc* with the U.S. and you will see what happens!! I guess we will be taking on Iran and Egypt now... GO U.S.!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • A-Pissin'-on-the-dead-kinda-guy

      Huh? What's with this "we" shit?

      January 27, 2012 at 4:02 am | Reply
  9. mipolitic

    no less than 24 hours ago pres obama was riding the victory horse of seal team six , now seal team six is still the heroes but obama has been thrown from the horse. justice has its devine why. but i would say the same thing if it were a repubican pres. having such people that are conected to the white house in any of these arab spring nations is a STUPID move the russian will run with this. obama has to get back on the horse and get these kids out now!

    January 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  10. mipolitic

    well this is not what i would have ever guessed could bring the white house true thoughts of egypt to the surface. i think the white house should pay the money and get these people out before things go south. the next thing that could happen is the army and authorities could say they do not have the americans . this will be on a much higher level than the somali hostages. ok state department what were these people doing there , and please do not say they were there on a do good mission. wow what a stupid move to have these people in this mess. stupid.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • Honest1inVA


      January 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  11. coriolana

    send in the seals.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  12. Bill

    U.S. International Republican Institute – seems to me if they where silly enough to let him in they should have no problem letting him out.

    It makes me wonder, what if a Russian national showed up here and asked for and got a visa to promote communism and somehow gathered sufficient support/viable candidate to make the current government concerned as to who might win the next elections? What would happen to "that guy" I wonder.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
  13. fred

    very dangerous game being played by Egypt. Do they think the Russians are better friends?

    January 26, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply

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