News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMine9-11 — Viewing Item

105 terrorists visas

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

GAO: 105 Terror Suspects Got U.S. Visas
Tue Nov 26, 7:38 PM ET Add White House - AP Cabinet & State to My Yahoo!

By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Visas were issued to 105 foreign men who should have been prevented from entering the United States because their names appeared on government lists of suspected terrorists, congressional investigators have found.

The visas have been revoked by the State Department. A federal law enforcement official, speaking Tuesday on condition of anonymity, said the revocation prevented 100 of the men from entering the United States, while three others were turned away at the U.S. border. Two made it into the country but have since left without incident, the official said.

Officially, the Justice Department (news - web sites) said it was reviewing the matter "to verify the status of each of the visas in question."

Under a security system first created in November 2001 called "Visas Condor," State Department applications for visas to enter the United States from certain national groups were to be checked against possible terrorist names in FBI (news - web sites) and CIA (news - web sites) databases. Men in these groups between 16 and 45 had to wait up to 30 days for the check before a visa could be issued.

However, the GAO found, until recently the name check system did not work properly as responsibility it shifted between the Justice Department and FBI, the CIA, the State Department and the multiagency Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force formed by President Bush (news - web sites) in October 2001.

Few names initially forwarded by the State Department , known as "cables," were checked by either the CIA or FBI, congressional investigators said.

By April 2002, when the terror task force assumed control of the system, the FBI had a backlog of some 8,000 unchecked names from the State Department. Of the 38,000 "Condor" applications subsequently processed through Aug. 1, 2002, about 280 names turned up on the anti-terrorism lists.

The State Department was given a refusal recommendation for 200 visa applicants, but that came after the 30-day hold had expired meaning the visas had already been issued. Because of misspelled or duplicate names, GAO officials now believe these visas were actually issued to about 105 men whose names appear on the anti-terror lists.

In many cases, U.S. officials say the refusal recommendation was made simply because there wasn't enough information available about the applicant. But it remains possible that some of the men had real terrorist connections.

Much of the information about the situation was made public last month in a GAO report addressing broader visa questions, but it was largely overlooked. The Chicago Tribune reported on the matter in Tuesday's editions.

Justice Department officials had no immediate comment Tuesday, but in a response to the GAO report a senior official said the FBI and the terror task force have taken steps to eliminate the backlog of names and work more closely with the State Department on streamlining the process.

Under another change made in September, the FBI has initial authority to check the names, then forwards those with a possible match to the State Department which then has the CIA do another screening for terrorist connections.

"We are confident that our handling of Condor cables will remain responsive and timely, without sacrificing security," wrote Robert Diegelman, acting assistant attorney general for administration.

State Department officials hope to reduce review time for the Condor applications for those with no FBI records to 10 days or less.

105 terrorists visas
9 11 commision { May 23 2003 }
9 11 terror attack binladen
911 flight controller handled egypt air flight 990
911 gas theory
911 suspect related wtc93 plotter { June 5 2002 }
911 widow ellen mariani letter to bush { December 1 2003 }
Air traffic controllers recall events { September 11 2002 }
Bush attends 911 memorial then fundraiser
Bush reaction { December 4 2001 }
Car bomb explodes outside state department on september 11
Cheney recalls taking charge from bunker { September 11 2001 }
Congress to investigating 911 loan abuses { September 9 2005 }
Day of the attack
Debunking conspiracy theorists
Evidence shows 911 attacks were delayed
Fbi grabs ap fedex document { May 8 2003 }
Fbi john oneill gets his own mini series { May 2 2005 }
Federal protective services deny car bomb occured
From the cockpits
Goss refuses to discipline cia officials for 911 lapse { October 5 2005 }
Government denies access to 911 tapes and transcripts { February 9 2005 }
Investigating the hijackings { July 23 2004 }
John oneill { September 12 2001 }
Man claims living wife died on 911 { February 5 2004 }
Nearly half newyork dead not identified
Need new pearl harbor { September 11 2001 }
New 911 cia report finds fault with cia officials { August 26 2005 }
Non arabic { September 19 2002 }
Number of rny dead 2000 less tally { October 26 2001 }
Ny fd releases 911 oral histories transmissions { August 12 2005 }
Palestinians candy
Pilots of hijacked flights on 911
Port authority releases 911 transcipts { August 29 2003 }
Pre attack { September 26 2001 }
Rare tape of wtc attacks surfaces
Reichstag fire { September 13 2002 }
Six years later bush consistently cites 911
Sora friedman
Sound recorded { August 7 2002 }
Springsteen sings { July 30 2002 }
Tumbling woman art [jpg]
Tumbling woman art { September 18 2002 }
Two white suspects in bin laden probe
Wash post offers free ads for 911 pentagon event { August 16 2005 }
Wtc_devil [jpg]

Files Listed: 47


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple