9/11 Panel Faults U.S. For Letting Hijackers In
Dan Eggen, Washington Post, Jan. 27
The U.S. government fumbled repeated opportunities to stop many of the men responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks from entering the country, missing fraudulent passports and other warning signs that should have attracted greater scrutiny, according to a preliminary report released yesterday.
The new findings by the independent commission investigating the terrorist strikes stand in marked contrast to the contentions of many senior U.S. officials, who for more than two years have portrayed the 19 hijackers as law-abiding travelers who did little to attract government suspicion and who, in nearly all cases, entered or resided in the country legally.
Yesterday’s report disclosed that as many as eight of the hijackers carried passports that “showed evidence of fraudulent manipulation,” while as many as five of the passports had “suspicious indicators.” The report did not identify the details missed by authorities.
The report also found that at least six hijackers, including ringleader Mohamed Atta, violated U.S. immigration laws either while in the United States or while returning. Five of the hijackers aroused enough suspicion that they were questioned individually by customs or immigration inspectors but were eventually allowed to enter the United States. None of the hijackers filled out his visa application correctly, and three clearly lied on the forms, according to the report.Read the rest of this story here.