The Blog

"The System Worked"

11:53 AM, Dec 28, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

CBS reports:

CBS News has learned the State Department system designed to keep track of active U.S. visas twice failed to reveal Nigerian terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had been issued an active visa allowing him multiple entries into the United States.

According to a law enforcement source, the first failure came on Nov. 19, 2009, the very same day Abdulmutallab father's, Dr. Umaru Mutallab, a prominent banking official in Nigeria, expressed deep concern to officials at the U.S. Embassy in Abjua, Nigeria, that his 23-year-old son had fallen under the influence of "religious extremists" in Yemen.

The second failure to flag an active visa belonging to Abdulmuttalab occurred the very next day in Washington, after Mutallab's concerns were forwarded to officials there. It was only after the Christmas Day terror attack in Detroit that U.S. officials learned that Abdulmuttalab had been issued a visa by the U.S. Embassy in London valid from June 16, 2008, through June 12, 2010.

Christian Whiton published a piece at FoxNews.com over the weekend arguing that DHS and not State should be responsible for granting visas, but in light of how pleased with herself DHS Secretary Janet "The System Worked" Napolitano was in the wake of the Christmas Day attack, I'm not sure that giving her authority over the visa process is any kind of solution at all.

HT: Spencer Ackerman