"Admitting Terror": U.S. Allowed 9/11 Bombers Into the Country Illegally Because of Airlines' Pressure

Categories: News

Twelve years ago, just a month after the towers fell in New York, New Times reporter Bob Norman showed you that the 9/11 bombers had been allowed to enter the country illegally through Miami.

The series he wrote, "Admitting Terror," won a Livingston Award for Young Journalists because it showed immigration authorities had kowtowed to the airline industry and hurried people through immigration.

It was a powerful piece of journalism at a powerful time in our country, and it's worth remembering on the 12th anniversary of the attack. If you want to read the whole series, click on this link to "Admitting Terror" or follow the jump for excerpts.

"The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) had terror ringleader Mohamed Atta in its grasp before the September 11 attacks. Then the agency, which stands on the domestic frontline in the war on terrorism, let him go. The 34-year-old Egyptian arrived at Miami International Airport earlier this year on a flight from Spain. His intention, he told immigration inspectors, was to learn to fly planes. Because he planned to go to school, the tourist visa he had used on a previous visit was invalid; the law required that he obtain a student visa from a U.S. consulate before entering the country. Following INS procedure, an inspector stopped Atta at the immigration line and sent him to 'hard secondary,' a room where intense investigations of suspected illegal aliens are supposed to take place.

"Five years ago Walter 'Dan' Cadman left South Florida in disgrace. The former director of Florida operations for the Immigration and Naturalization Service had been caught deceiving a Congressional task force and then trying to cover up his actions. The Justice Department, after an investigation into what became known as Kromegate, recommended that Cadman be fired or, at the very least, receive a 30-day suspension and be permanently relieved of management duties.

"In 1996 the INS transferred Cadman from his position in Florida to the service's Washington, D.C., headquarters, where he was temporarily demoted to an investigator's position. But two years later, Immigration's top brass quietly handed him a new job, a position that was more important than anyone could have known: The INS made Cadman its counterterrorism chief.

"More than two years before the September 11 attacks, a seasoned federal immigration officer named Mary Schneider vehemently complained that Islamic visitors who were possibly terrorists were moving into the Orlando area. She told Immigration and Naturalization Service officials that hundreds of aliens, some of whom she suspected were tied to Osama bin Laden, were illegally gaining residence. She further alleged that several INS supervisors had accepted bribes in return for allowing those aliens to remain in the country."

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Jon Bullock
Jon Bullock

if u think it is a inside job u r a fucking idiot

Andrew De Marino
Andrew De Marino

How the terrorist lived at the best western on lejune rd months before the attacks and hung out in Dade n broward bars .......

drakemallard topcommenter

Every American should know about the failures of the US Government. Many people are simply unaware of the fact that government law-enforcement agencies, like the FBI, aren't caught off-guard very often, especially when it comes to large-scale terrorist attacks. They are well aware of those groups who are plotting acts of terror--they monitor and infiltrate these groups in order to control them and to control the situation. Sadly, what many people fail to realize is that governments often have plans (or laws) that they wish to implement in order for them to be better able to control the general population, and that often they require an event--a crisis--to occur before these plans (laws) can be implemented.” 

 “No, Peter, Iraq had nothing to do with this. It was a bunch of Saudi Arabians, Lebanese, and Egyptians financed by a Saudi Arabian guy living in Afghanistan and sheltered by Pakistanis.

The Bush White House Was Deaf to 9/11 Warnings -

But there were other briefings, some seen by Eichenwald, that did warn of an imminent attack.

On May 1 the CIA said that a terrorist group in the U.S. was planning an attack.

On June 22 it warned that this attack was "imminent."

On June 29 the brief warned of near-term attacks with "dramatic consequences" including major casualties.

On July 1, the briefing said that the terrorist attack had been delayed but "will occur soon."

On July 24, the president was told again that the attack had been delayed but would occur within months”


Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault