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Resource ID: #18643
Source:New Times (Miami)
In a five-part investigative series New Times discovers that Mohamed Atta, one of the key players in the September 11 terrorist attacks, was improperly admitted into the country. Norman reveals that immigration inspectors are often leery to enforce federal law against illegal aliens, and exposes "a culture that values facilitation of air travel over law enforcement." INS failed to monitor the departure of U.S. visitors, to maintain a database with names of suspected terrorists, and to enforce laws against visitors' overstays. At INS customer service has become a top priority, even though inspectors have warned of the terrorist threat, New Times reports. The stories shed light on several cases in 1990s when terrorist were admitted into the U.S. without any scrutiny. "The disturbing result is that the INS has become a laughingstock among even moderately sophisticated terrorists."