Skip to comments.Pakistani travelers under new scrutiny
Posted on 06/28/2004 7:05:04 PM PDT by wagglebee
WASHINGTON In an unusual move, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has ordered inspectors at America's largest airports to examine all travelers of Pakistani descent including U.S. citizens for minor injuries such as "rope burns," "unusual bruises" and "scars" possibly suffered while training in terrorist camps in that ally Muslim country, according to internal U.S. documents obtained exclusively by WorldNetDaily.
A two-page "action" bulletin, labeled "For Official Use Only," warns that recent intelligence gathered in Pakistan and elsewhere indicates that individuals traveling to train at terrorist camps in Pakistan may be planning to carry out terrorist activities within the United States between now and the presidential election in November.
The bulletin directs agents at major international airports in New York, New Jersey, Washington, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles to "increase scrutiny" of passengers who are naturalized U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents of Pakistani descent, and "who exhibit evidence of suspicious travel, including short trips to Pakistan not related to family or business."
The closely held bulletin, dated June 17, orders primary inspectors at the airports to refer suspicious persons to secondary inspections areas for further questioning. The special inspections are authorized to run at least through late July.
"If we see any irregularities," an immigration inspector told WND, "we escort them to secondary for a very in-depth interview and search."
Inspectors also have been advised to examine travelers of Pakistani descent for physical signs that they've engaged in paramilitary training in Pakistan.
For example, "officers should look for indications the individual engaged in rappelling activities (rope burns on arms/legs)," according to the internal action report. In addition, it says they should look for "unusual bruises resulting from obstacle course activities," and "wounds" or "scars" suffered from the discharge of firearms.
The sensitive document lists several other key clues airport inspectors should look for to identify potential Pakistani terrorists, including details about travel documentation. WND has decided not to disclose them for security reasons.
Agents are advised to report data from the "intelligence-driven special operation" to field operations official Brian J. Humphrey, who is listed as the point of contact at Customs and Border Protection headquarters here. Customs and Border Protection is a bureau within Homeland Security.
Asked about the Pakistani terrorist camps, Humphrey declined comment.
"I really don't have any information that I would be at liberty to discuss," he said.
Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jim Michie also declined comment.
"We can't discuss any enforcement operations," he said.
Most, if not all, of al-Qaida's training camps in Afghanistan have been shut down since the 9-11 attacks. But the news of still-active terrorist training camps in Pakistan is troubling.
After 9-11, the U.S. made the Islamic nation an ally in the war on terrorism, even though it was one of only three nations in the world to formally recognize the al-Qaida-sheltering Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and even though some of the high-level 9-11 al-Qaida plotters met in the Pakistani city of Karachi. President Bush repeatedly has praised Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf for cracking down on terrorists in his neighboring country.
Even so, the U.S. security bulletin says that "recent terrorist activities in other parts of the world document that persons of Pakistani descent are increasingly being identified with many of these extremist activities, including supporting [and] protecting the operations of terrorist training camps in Pakistan."
It adds: "Recent police raids and military operations in Pakistan also documents the terrorist-related threat posed by individuals traveling to train at terrorist camps in Pakistan," specifically in the northwestern tribal areas of Waziristan.
The bulletin goes on to say that the U.S. government believes that "many of the individuals trained in the Pakistani camps are destined to commit illegal activities in the United States."
The FBI recently issued a be-on-the-lookout bulletin for a 32-year-old Pakistani woman, Aafia Siddiqui, who it suspects may be an al-Qaida "fixer" or facilitator. Authorities say the U.S.-educated Siddiqui returned to Pakistan shortly after 9-11 with her husband.
In a staff statement, the 9-11 Commission earlier this month said the Pakistani government has used camps run by al-Qaida kingpin Osama bin Laden to train and equip fighters for Pakistan's ongoing struggle with India over Kashmir, a disputed mineral-rich border area.
The day before Customs released its action alert on Pakistani travelers, a 9-11 Commission expert witness on al-Qaida recommended in public testimony that immigration inspectors start asking visitors to the U.S. if they've ever been to a military training camp in South Asia.
"If I were an immigration inspector, the one thing I'd like to know is if someone has been to a training camp," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who has prosecuted al-Qaida cases, testified June 16. "And if they should come in and lie, then that would give us a reason to throw them out of the country."
The 9-11 Commission found that all 19 of the 9-11 hijackers trained at al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan. In addition, the so-called Millennium bomber, Ahmed Ressam, trained at Camp Khaldan in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Ressam is mentioned in the Customs bulletin.
Just three days before federal authorities released the action report on Pakistani travelers, Vice President Dick Cheney exalted Pakistan's efforts in fighting terrorism.
"In Pakistan, President Musharraf became an ally of the United States, and has provided support for our operations," Cheney said in a June 14 speech before the James Madison Institute in Orlando, Fla. "President Musharraf has strongly supported and led in the war on terror." That said, Musharraf refuses to allow U.S. troops based in Afghanistan to cross the border into Pakistan to hunt for 9-11 mastermind bin Laden, who U.S. intelligence believes is hiding in that country's northern badlands. The 9-11 Commission found that, contrary to popular belief, bin Laden is a hands-on leader who not only orders major attacks and picks the targets, but also personally selects the operatives who will carry out the attacks.
Nearly two-thirds 65 percent of people in Pakistan hold favorable views of bin Laden, and 85 percent approve of Musharraf, according to a recent survey by Washington-based Pew Global Attitudes Project.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge recently announced that "credible evidence from multiple sources indicates that al-Qaida plans to attempt an attack on the United States during" the period leading up to the November elections.
Huh? Must be a wierd place.
Thank you, WorldNetDaily, for letting the Paki terrorists know exactly what our people will be looking for.
What about rug burns?
Three years after 9-11, and Bush and the GOP Congress are still, consciously, importing terrorism into this country.
Yawn. Three years later and the uberjihad states are thriving.
How much money has the US sent Pak?
How many jihadi madrassas have closed?
Is US money financing the next generation of jihadis? Oh, no, never /sarc.
Let's hope the toddlers of today are more clearheaded than us. After all, all we're doing is dropping the ball in their lap.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.