This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," July 15, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: This is the "You're Kidding Me" segment. He was hired to help keep airline passengers safe, but he got fired for rapping about terror.

Bassam Khalaf was screening bags at an airport in Houston. He's a rapper. He rapped about such topics as flying planes into a building. The so-called "Arabic Assassin (search)" has an unreleased CD called "Terror Alert."


GIBSON: So there you go. That is Bassam. And he joins us now.

So Bassam, I understand that you were kind of shocked that you got fired. Why would that surprise you?

KHALAF: Because, like I said, I kept my music and my job separate. I was a real good screener. Even the guy that hired me — I mean, the guy that fired me admitted himself that I was like one of the best screeners that they had up there. You know, I would give my job 100...


GIBSON: Bassam, the guy that blew up the bombs in London was a real good grade-school teacher, too. But once you learn you're talking about flying planes into — I mean, Bassam, I'll fire you. You're fired.

I mean, who would possibly put up with somebody putting out a rap record like you do and let them be an airport screener?

KHALAF: I mean, that's fine. That's their job. If they want to fire me, I'm cool with that. You know, they can do what they want. But it's not going to stop me from making my music. Like I said, it's just entertainment. I have no intent on doing any terrorist act, you know?

GIBSON: But why shouldn't people take you seriously?

KHALAF: Because it's just entertainment. I can't explain it enough, you know?

GIBSON: I'm not entertained. I mean, I take it seriously. Flying planes into buildings, people are in those buildings. You know, that's like saying I'm going to run around and shoot people and then say, "Well, I'm just entertaining, dude."

KHALAF: But like Eminem (search) did the same thing and he's not catching heat for that.

GIBSON: I didn't hear him say he was flying planes into buildings, did he?

KHALAF: He had a lyric. He said...


GIBSON: He did? Was he an airport screener?

KHALAF: No, he wasn't an airport screener.

GIBSON: He didn't have to be an airport screener. But he could get a job as an airport screener.

KHALAF: His lyrics contained — he said, "There's no tower too high. There's no plane that I can't learn how to fly," you know. That's pretty much the same thing.

GIBSON: Yes, but, Bassam, if you get to be a big hit like Eminem, we aren't having this conversation because you don't need a job as an airport screener. The whole deal here is you're objecting to the fact somebody fired you as an airport screener. I'd fire the guy who didn't fire you.

KHALAF: Well, I feel like my race is part of the reason, too, because you're highlighting in quotations the "Arabic Assassin." If I was called the "Mexican Assassin," would this bring so much controversy to it?

GIBSON: But, Bassam, are you Arabic?

KHALAF: I'm Arabic.


GIBSON: OK, so you're Arabic. Your name is Bassam. You put out a rap record about flying planes into buildings. Who wouldn't take you seriously?

KHALAF: It's not the whole record. It's like one of my songs. And it's only a couple of sentences. I mention that; I talk about everything when I rap. I touch on this subject, this subject, and this subject. I'm not just going to talk about one thing.

GIBSON: All right, Bassam...

KHALAF: I've got a song called...

GIBSON: ... keep on rapping. But don't worry. You're not going to be screening bags anymore. Good luck, adios, see you later.

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