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[infowar.de] Boulevard am Nachmittag: Atta bekommt VISA!!!
Falls der Kaffee =FCber die Nachmittagsm=FCdigkeit nicht hinweg hilft, viel=
leicht ein lautes Lachen nach folgender Lekt=FCre.
Mal schaun, welcher Softwareanbieter sich jetzt mit einer L=F6sung in die D=
F=FCr die seri=F6sen Zitate unten ein Artikel von der Washington Post.
Makabere Panne bei der US-Einwanderungsbeh=F6rde
zwei Terror-Piloten =20
Unfassbare Panne der US-Einwanderungsbeh=F6rden: Sechs Monate nach dem 11.=
September haben die beiden Terrorpiloten Mohammed Atta und Marwan Alshehhi=
Mitarbeiter der Flugschule in Florida trauten ihren Augen kaum, als die Pos=
t der Einwanderungsbeh=F6rde auf ihrem Tisch landete. Im August 2000 hatten=
Atta und Alshehhi dort Flugstunden genommen und sich unbemerkt ihr teuflis=
ches Wissen angeeingnet.
In der amerikanischen =D6ffentlichkeit ist jetzt ein heftiger Streit entbra=
nnt. Die Beh=F6rden machen das =84antiquierte=93 System f=FCr die schwere P=
Die Studentenvisa seien bereits im August 2000 genehmigt worden, berichtet =
die =84Washington Post=93. Der weitere Weg, den die Papiere genommen haben,=
ist derzeit nicht ganz klar.
Terrorist Pilots' Student Visas Arrive=20
Officials Blame 'Antiquated' System for Delay of Paperwork=20
By Dan Eggen and Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, March 13, 2002; Page A01=20
Exactly six months after terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi flew t=
wo jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Florida flight school that tr=
ained the men received paperwork showing that their student visas had been =
The two suicide hijackers had applied for the visas through their flight sc=
hool, Huffman Aviation International, in August 2000. But because of backlo=
gs and an antiquated processing system at the Immigration and Naturalizatio=
n 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 ef=
forts 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 Rep. F. James Sensenbre=
nner 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 dis=
mantled and put back together again."
INS and Justice Department officials acknowledged yesterday that the delaye=
d mailings were embarrassing, but stressed that the change to student visas=
for Atta and Alshehhi was actually approved last summer. The pair had ente=
red the United States on tourist visas.
In addition, the INS said in a statement, "when the applications were appro=
ved, the INS had no information indicating that Atta or Alshehhi had ties t=
o terrorist organizations."
The records received by Huffman, first reported by CNN, show that Atta's vi=
sa was approved July 17 and Alshehhi's was approved Aug. 9. The visa approv=
als came well after the two would-be hijackers had completed their training=
course at Huffman, which cost $27,300 each and ended in January 2001.
That means it took the INS nearly a year to process the visa applications a=
fter they were submitted by a Huffman official in August 2000, and seven mo=
nths more to return the forms to the flight school. The schools are not req=
uired to deny instruction to foreign nationals while the visa applicants wa=
it for an INS decision, officials said.
Huffman owner Rudi Dekkers said he feels vindicated by receipt of the forms=
, because they prove his school followed INS guidelines.
"It's very strange," Dekkers said. "I have no idea why it took so long."
INS officials said in a statement last night that the agency "regrets the l=
ate arrival of notifications to the school," and blamed the delay on an "an=
tiquated, inaccurate, untimely" and inefficient paper-based processing syst=
em. The INS is switching over to a computer-based system, which was first m=
andated by Congress as part of an immigration reform package in 1996.
"How can these guys get training before they're approved to get training? T=
hat's a legitimate issue," one senior Justice official said. "But it's impo=
rtant to note that these guys were approved long before anyone in law enfor=
cement knew they had ties to terrorist groups."
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), head of a congressional caucus that seeks redu=
ced immigration, said the agency is "completely and totally dysfunctional.
"The INS is the Mickey Mouse Club of federal agencies, but this actually wo=
uld indicate that's an insult to Mickey Mouse," Tancredo said. "I do not kn=
ow what straw is possibly going to be the one that will break this back. Th=
e pile is so high now you can't see over it."
A spokeswoman for ACS Inc., the contractor that runs the London, Ky., proce=
ssing center that mailed the paperwork to Huffman, said that INS rules allo=
w the company to wait six months before sending approved student visa appli=
cations to flight schools. "There was no delay," said Lesley Pool. "We perf=
orm our services according to their dictates."
INS and Justice officials said last night that the company's latest contrac=
t, announced last fall, reduces the deadline to 30 days, officials said.
Ben Ferro, a former INS district administrator who now runs a consulting fi=
rm, said the Atta and Alshehhi cases reflect how the immigration service ha=
s lost control of its own documents.
"What happened here is an embarrassment and worse," Ferro said. "Clearly IN=
S doesn't discriminate in its backlogs and delays. Everyone gets delayed, e=
ven dead people."
=A9 2002 The Washington Post Company=20
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