GENE SIMMONS Not Letting Terrorism Affect Plans

July 5, 2007

Tom Campbell of Times-Dispatch reports that like other travelers at the Richmond airport yesterday, rock star Gene Simmons of KISS seemed unconcerned about security after recent scares in London and Glasgow.

Simmons was in Richmond over the weekend because the IndyCar Series was in town. His company, Simmons Abramson Marketing, promotes IndyCar racing. The SunTrust Indy Challenge ran Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.

"I had no concern at all [about flying] because of Homeland Security," Simmons said between rounds of posing for photos with fans.

U.S. airports have been at the "orange" threat level, the second-highest on the government's five-level scale, since August 2006, when police in the United Kingdom said they foiled a plot to blow up aircraft bound for the U.S.

Simmons said he does not complain about extra security measures imposed on airport travelers — even travelers who fly in private or corporate jets. He sidestepped saying whether he was flying commercial from Richmond International Airport yesterday.

He said the war on terrorism is a war of ideas that will last decades, and that it will not end with the death or capture of Osama bin Laden.

"This is a worldwide fight for the minds of Muslim youth," he said.

"I'm a big proponent of the idea that in time of war some individual rights have to be curtailed, and this is a time of war," Simmons said. "I was born in Israel, although I consider America my home. When you come from a small country like that where you're surrounded by people who bear you ill will," you understand drastic measures sometimes must be taken.

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