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Top 9/11 suspect 'was granted US visa'
FT.com ^

Posted on 01/27/2004 4:32:24 PM PST by Stew Padasso

Top 9/11 suspect 'was granted US visa'

By Demetri Sevastopulo and Edward Alden in Washington

Published: January 27 2004 1:01 | Last Updated: January 27 2004 1:01

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind behind the September 11 plot, was granted a visa to enter the US just six weeks before the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York, according to new revelations from the federal commission studying the attacks.

Mr Mohammed, who had previously been indicted in the US for his alleged role in an earlier terrorist plot, was granted a visa through a US consulate in Saudi Arabia after applying under a false Saudi passport using the alias Abdulrahman al Ghamdi, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States said on Monday.

Mr Mohammed, who was captured in Pakistan last April, did not appear to have used the visa to enter the US, the commission said.

The revelations will raise new questions about lapses in US border controls that may have contributed to the September 11 attacks. While the US has taken numerous steps to tighten its scrutiny of travellers, the administration is still facing criticism from Democrats that border security remains too lax.

In its most pointed conclusions to date, the commission, headed by Thomas Kean, a former New Jersey governor, said its investigation had revealed that many of the hijackers had violated US immigration laws, lied on visa applications and showed other suspicious behaviours that could have been detected.

Three of the 19 hijackers, for instance, made false statements in their visa applications that could have been detected, according to the commission, which is preparing to submit a final report to President George W. Bush and Congress in late May.

Two of four hijackers' passports recovered from the crashes had been doctored in a way that hinted at their association with al-Qaeda. Two others had "suspicious indicators" on their passports.

"These circumstances offered opportunities to intelligence and law enforcement officials," said the commission, "but our government did not fully exploit al-Qaeda's travel vulnerabilities."

The conclusions may re-open the question of whether intelligence and law enforcement officials could have done more to stop the plot, in spite of previous claims that most of the hijackers had no record of association with terrorists and thus were unlikely to be identified.

"The director of Central Intelligence described 17 of the 19 hijackers as 'clean'. We believe the information we have provided today gives the commission the opportunity to re-evaluate those statements," the commission's staff said.

At a hearing on Capitol Hill on Monday, the commission also heard testimony from José Melendez-Perez, an immigration official who refused US entry to Mohamed al-Kahtani, an al-Qaeda operative that the commission suspects was supposed to be the 20th hijacker.

Mr al-Kahtani, a Saudi, was refused entry at Orlando airport on August 4 2001, at the exact time that Mohammed Atta, the plot's ringleader, is known to have been at that airport.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 911commission; 911hijackers; atta; visa
Did not see this posted. Please pull if this is a duplicate.
1 posted on 01/27/2004 4:32:24 PM PST by Stew Padasso
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To: Stew Padasso
a state department visa no doubt...
2 posted on 01/27/2004 4:36:55 PM PST by corkoman (Logged in - have you?)
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To: Stew Padasso
I thought that guy in Minnesota was supoosed to be the 20th stooge.
3 posted on 01/27/2004 4:51:36 PM PST by yooper (If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there......)
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To: Stew Padasso
But we will now easily be able to check upo on millions of new "Guest Wrokers" !!!


How will W's guest worker program make my nation safer given a post 9/11 world?
4 posted on 01/27/2004 4:51:51 PM PST by Kay Soze (If Ted kennedy's 100B dollar health care plan passes both houses will "W" veto it?)
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To: Stew Padasso; Dog; Shermy
>>>was granted a visa through a US consulate in Saudi Arabia after applying under a false Saudi passport using the alias Abdulrahman al Ghamdi,

Wans't this one of the Hijackers?
5 posted on 01/27/2004 4:52:50 PM PST by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
Khalid-Shaikh-Mohammed:


6 posted on 01/27/2004 4:54:40 PM PST by Stew Padasso (Head down over a saddle.)
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To: Stew Padasso
I meant the visa he got, in the alias of Ghamdi - who was a hijacker on one of the planes.

Did someone else use that visa to enter the US? one of the 19 or got in at some other time......
7 posted on 01/27/2004 4:57:44 PM PST by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
No he was one of the top suspects in the May bombings in Saudi Arabia...he surrendered after the Saudi's grabbed his family.

Here..

In Washington, a US official said the surrender of Ali Abdulrahman Al-Ghamdi was a significant setback to al-Qaeda, having taking out of action the terror network's senior operative in the Saudi kingdom.

8 posted on 01/27/2004 4:57:56 PM PST by Dog
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To: swarthyguy; Dog
As dog says, a Saudi bomber.

What gives?
9 posted on 01/27/2004 5:01:07 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
You begin to understand why FBI guys must stay awake at night.
10 posted on 01/27/2004 5:02:35 PM PST by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy; Shermy
KSM used the name of a real person....interesting.
11 posted on 01/27/2004 5:11:56 PM PST by Dog
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To: swarthyguy; Dog
And why would KSM be trying to get to the US? Ideas?
12 posted on 01/27/2004 5:32:13 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
Maybe he handed the visa to someone else who may or may have come in. Or did and left!

What the article doesn't say may be the non barking dog.

Was that visa ever used for US entry?
13 posted on 01/27/2004 5:35:19 PM PST by swarthyguy
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To: Shermy
And why would KSM be trying to get to the US? Ideas?

Nothing good, you can be sure. Bringing in money? Bringing in instructions to agents in place?

14 posted on 01/27/2004 5:37:22 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero; swarthyguy
He seems like such a big fish to do this himself, too high profile to risk capture...unless the his purpose was so very sensitive.
15 posted on 01/27/2004 5:39:33 PM PST by Shermy
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To: pokerbuddy2
KSM bump.
16 posted on 01/27/2004 5:45:08 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Stew Padasso
testimony from José Melendez-Perez, an immigration official who refused US entry to Mohamed al-Kahtani, an al-Qaeda operative that the commission suspects was supposed to be the 20th hijacker.

I've heard the phrase "20th hijacker" *so* many times since 9/11 that I automatically think of the Fifth Beatle...

First it was Zacarias Moussaoui, then Ramzi bin Al-Shibh, then KSM and now this assclown!

17 posted on 01/27/2004 6:06:45 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick (Kaddafi is such a whack job that he never promoted himself past Colonel!)
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To: Stew Padasso
bump
18 posted on 01/27/2004 6:07:33 PM PST by VOA
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To: Stew Padasso
More proof that 9/11 had nothing to do with immigration, so we should continue not enforcing immigration laws and bring in even more legal and illegal immigrants. /openbordersfreetrade
19 posted on 01/27/2004 6:59:21 PM PST by sixmil
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To: Stew Padasso; aristeides; Dog
Al Ghamdi is also the name of the Sheikh in the Osama video nov/dec 2001 showing the boys gloating over the Attacks.

Big, important Saudi family.
20 posted on 01/29/2004 10:37:00 AM PST by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
Thanks for the info. This stuff is unbeleivable. You may have seen this already:


http://www.officer.com/article/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=9041
21 posted on 01/29/2004 10:44:02 AM PST by Stew Padasso (Head down over a saddle.)
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To: Shermy; swarthyguy; Angelus Errare; livius
He seems like such a big fish to do this himself, too high profile to risk capture...unless the his purpose was so very sensitive.

But you'd think any sensitive instructions could have been given to Atta while he was in Spain. Unless plans had changed for some reason.

22 posted on 01/29/2004 1:44:03 PM PST by aristeides
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To: aristeides
I would suspect that this was a backup.

I was in Spain for a few weeks that summer. I was staying in Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, and went to Alicante, south of Valencia, on the train a couple of times, and also made a few excursions north of Valencia. I am very familiar with Spain, and particularly with that part of it, because I had a good friend who was living in that area and had opened an art gallery around there at the time.

I have always had a terrible feeling that I saw Atta on a train once. I got on the train - I believe I was heading south towards Alicante, but it may have been on the return to Valencia from one of my trips northwards - and saw a tall African sitting on one of the side-facing seats. Many Spaniards will not sit next to Africans, because they often smell bad (I can attest to this), but there was a seat on one of the seats at a right angle to the African's seat, so I sat down there.

I thought he was Senegalese, because he was carrying an attache case, and like any New Yorker, I assumed that a tall, dark African with an attache case was selling fake Rolexes.

About two stops later, another man got on and came over immediately to that seat and greeted the Senegalese in English. The second man was not African, but was dark, and I thought he might have been Moroccan. They started talking, but I had no reason for listening (this was July 2001), so I continued reading my local Spanish newspaper and I ignored them. There were no other seats on the train, and I didn't want to stand.

At the next stop, two light skinned (well, by comparison) men got on and went over to the Senegalese and his friend. They had short,dark hair and I thought they looked somehow "classier" than the others, a little better dressed or something. One had a rather heavy face that for some reason stuck in my mind, and he was obviously also the important person.

The newest people began speaking to the others, and whatever they said made the Senegalese laugh, and he looked around to the side (towards me and another woman sitting on the other row of seats) and began to laugh and fling his hands out. After one of his hands grazed my paper, I got the hint and moved to another part of the train.

The group had been talking about "papers." I assumed they were talking about Spanish immigration papers, and they were very difficult to understand in any case, so I went back to my newspaper and ignored them. The only thing I did notice is that they got off at separate stops.

I have always thought that one of these guys was Atta.
23 posted on 01/29/2004 3:39:55 PM PST by livius
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