[ISN] Terrorist Pilots' Student Visas Arrive

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Mar 13 2002 - 01:23:44 PST

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    [I'd be curious to know if the INS information security staffers are 
    as asleep at the wheel as the rest of the organization? :)  - WK]
    By Dan Eggen and Mary Beth Sheridan
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Wednesday, March 13, 2002; Page A01 
    Exactly six months after terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi
    flew two jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Florida flight
    school that trained the men received paperwork showing that their
    student visas had been approved.
    The two suicide hijackers had applied for the visas through their
    flight school, Huffman Aviation International, in August 2000. But
    because of backlogs and an antiquated processing system at the
    Immigration and Naturalization Service, notification of the approval
    did not arrive at the Venice, Fla., flight school until Monday.
    The belated receipt of the documents underscores the chronic problems
    that continue to plague the beleaguered INS -- the target of strenuous
    reform efforts since the Sept. 11 attacks -- and prompted howls of
    outrage yesterday from Capitol Hill.
    "This shows once again the complete incompetence of the immigration
    service to enforce our laws and protect our borders," said U.S. Rep.  
    F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), who has co-sponsored legislation
    to break up the agency. "If you look at the chronology of this, it
    shows why the INS has to be dismantled and put back together again."
    INS and Justice Department officials acknowledged yesterday that the
    delayed mailings were embarrassing, but stressed that the change to
    student visas for Atta and Alshehhi was actually approved last summer.  
    The pair had entered the United States on tourist visas.
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