As you know, I live in South Florida and it was just down the road, in Broward County, that Mohammad Atta was picked up on a routine traffic stop, released, and ended up purchasing the tickets leading to his last flight on 9/11. Atta and several of his fellow Islamic terrorists were here in the US on student visas.
You might think an immediate response going forward would be to scrub the rolls for anyone entering the US on a student visa from countries listed on terrorist watch lists.
But apparently not.
As reported in the Toronto Sun, a Moroccan man with an expired student visa who entered the United States as an exchange student six years ago is facing criminal charges after planning to use a remote-controlled plane to bomb a U.S. university and a federal building in Connecticut.
The resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 26-year-old El Mehdi Semlali Fathi, was arrested on Monday after telling a friend that he was studying how to carry out the bomb attack with a toy plane, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut and court papers filed by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.
In a conversation recorded by the FBI, Fathi “repeatedly confirmed his desire to bomb an educational university outside the state of Connecticut” and claimed he had lined up financing from drug dealers to fund the attack, officials said.
This just serves as another reminder that we have enemies within our gates. And let me be one of the first to congratulate our law enforcement agency on their efforts in foiling this plot.
Fathi’s case provides a number of flags that should serve as a potential blueprint to use for tracking others.
As the Toronto Sun reports, Fathi entered the United States in 2008 on a student visa that expired in 2009 after he failed all the classes he had enrolled in at Virginia International University, according to court papers. He had been preparing an asylum application but told a friend in a conversation recorded by the FBI that he had constructed a false history of abuse for political dissent in his native country to justify that bid. Fathi has been arrested twice since entering the United States, in 2010 in Virginia for trespassing, a charge that was later dismissed, and in California in 2012 for theft.
Instead of the Obama administration pushing its agenda of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, it should be focusing on protecting the American people from those here illegally first and foremost. We reported here about the 68,000 criminal illegals who were released by the Obama administration.
Obviously Islamic terrorists have developed a basic modus operandi of acquiring student visas, overstaying them, and then possibly developing false stories in order to apply for asylum. It’s also apparent that Mexican drug cartels are willing to collude with Islamists as enablers and in support of both entities’ nefarious objectives against the United States. Lest we forget that the purported assassination plots against the Ambassadors of Israel and Saudi Arabia by Islamic terrorists were supported by Mexican drug cartels.
This is why the first step in immigration reform MUST be border security. Iran has supported its proxy terrorist army, Hezbollah, to establish operations south of the US border. As well, Iran’s Al Quds force has established operations in Venezuela, which began with agreements between Hugo Chavez and Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
I always laugh when I hear liberal progressives complain about “profiling.” When there are specific and evident trends only a dummy wouldn’t act upon it and conduct trend analyses. We need to clean up the US student visa program before one of these violators slips through the cracks — ala Mr. Atta and his co-conspirators.