Six Months Later, INS Approves Terrorist Visas

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Six Months Later, INS Approves Terrorist Visas

Six months after the September 11 attacks, a Florida flight school belatedly received notification from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that two Osama bin Laden disciples--both of whom had enrolled in a professional flight program--had been approved for student visas. The INS notifications were received Monday (3/11) by Rudi Dekkers, owner of Huffman Aviation (Dekkers provided TSG with the below copies of the INS approvals for terrorist ringleader Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi). Investigators believe that Atta and al-Shehhi piloted the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers. In August 2000, Huffman Aviation filed--on behalf of Atta and al-Shehhi--forms requesting that the INS switch the pair's visa status from tourist to student, a change that allowed Atta and al-Shehhi to enroll in a professional pilot program. While those applications were granted last summer, the formal notification of the approval was not sent until this month. The INS blames a bureaucratic backlog, though others might come to another conclusion. (2 pages)

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