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Syrians flew with expired visas

I've been meaning to follow up on this....

Syrians flew with expired visas

Almost all of the Syrian musicians who were questioned by law-enforcement officials after exhibiting suspicious behavior aboard a Northwest Airlines flight were traveling on expired visas.

The 14 men in the band were questioned by several agencies that make up the Joint Terrorism Task Force after the pilot aboard Flight 327 from Detroit to Los Angeles on June 29 radioed for law-enforcement assistance.

...A spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that 13 of the 14 musicians entered the country May 30 and the visas expired June 10, but the men were not detained. The 14th musician is a U.S. resident and citizen.

"The bottom line is there should have been an ICE agent called in to participate in the questioning, but there wasn't," spokesman Dean Boyd said. "We believe if an ICE agent were there, they could have detected the visas had expired."

The Washington Times reported last week that flight crews and air marshals say terrorists are testing airline security and conducting probes, and cited several incidents including the one involving the musicians that set off alarms with security officials.

Since the report, several other pilots and marshals have come forward and confirmed that groups of men are conducting what looks like dry runs for a terrorist attack.

"We are being constantly surveilled and probed" by terrorists, one air marshal said.

I found it interesting that the pilot radioed for police. Many liberals have attacked the woman who originally wrote about this and called her a racist kook. Others said it was a hoax. Clearly there was more to it than that if the pilot radioed for help.

The liberals have put themselves into the odd political position that they have to deny the reality that terror exists. If someone points out a hole in security, rather than urge it be fixed, the liberals attack that person and claim there is no such thing as terrorism. Truly odd behavior when you are trying to win an election on national security.

Contrary to their (loud) claims, there are obviously MANY lapses in our security. The fact these folks were flying on expired visa's in a post 9/11 world is inexcusable. My local bank would not let my wife cash a check last week because her drivers license was expired, yet these guys can hopscotch the country on expired visas? Maybe we need to replace the federal screeners with former bank tellers.

The irony of this whole event is that the liberals SHOULD be the ones highlighting this event and making the case that Bush has not done a good job on national security. It would resound with the voters. Instead they stick their finders in their ears and claim it never happened, which hurts both our nation's security and their own electoral changes.

What an interesting position for them to be in.


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Comments (8)

It's not just liberals. The... (Below threshold)

It's not just liberals. There have been more than a couple conservative bloggers who've doubted her story and have called her "panicked" as well.

Federal screeners are low-l... (Below threshold)

Federal screeners are low-level employees with mediocre training and low motivation. Can anyone imagine a screener losing their job because someone with an expired visa passed through? I can't.

Every day in every airport in the country people are passing through security with knives, razors, boxcutters and every imaginable thing that screeners should be preventing. I can't even imagine that this system is expected to work.

But ... but ... when they m... (Below threshold)

But ... but ... when they made all the screeners federal employees it was supposed to make them all professional so things like that wouldn't happen! Dave, are you saying that sin't so? I feel so ... so misled!

</sarcasm, not at Dave's expense>

I have had to drop off and ... (Below threshold)
Laura Z:

I have had to drop off and pick up family at the airport twice in the past month. Both times I have seen cars parked by the curb with no one inside them.

With family working at the airport as well, it is no surprise to me that TSA is a joke. Everything looks great when one is wearing rose-tinted glasses...

BTW, not to racially profile here, but as Detroit (Dearborn) has the highest population of Arabs, shouldn't someone be raising the security at Detroit Metro Airport???

Just a thought.

It doesn't matter if the vi... (Below threshold)

It doesn't matter if the visa expired, as long as it was valid on their entry into the US.

What's more important here is if the stamp issued by the USCIS expired. If so, then there is a problem. IF not, the syrians didn't do anything wrong.

So how does the government ... (Below threshold)
eclipsegurl:

So how does the government keep track of the people they issue visas to? Isn't there a system in place to alert them when a visa expires? Or are they just giving out visas and expecting the person with the visa to be on the honor system and step up to say, "oh darn, my visa has expired".

There needs to be a better system in place. There are hundreds of thousands of places to get lost in the US and the terrorist know this. We need to be thinking at least a few steps ahead of them shouldn't we?

Yes, it is based on the hon... (Below threshold)

Yes, it is based on the honor system, unless you want to live in a police state.

But isn't that one thing th... (Below threshold)
eclipsegurl:

But isn't that one thing that led to 9-11-01? We were supposed to follow this more closely to avoid that type of incident from happening again. What ever happened to doing your job to the best of your ability?

I get tired of hearing, "well, what do expect from people who only make $8 an hour?" Everyone can't be CEO. They should however take pride in the job that they have and do it to the best of their ability and quit pissing and moaning about not getting paid enough. I'm sure that none of us get paid as much as what we think we are worth, if truth be told.




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