The key question about how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab retained his visa to enter the U.S. centers on the connection between the terror watchlist he was on and
The key question about how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab retained his visa to enter the U.S. centers on the connection between the terror watchlist he was on and State Department visa procedures. Here I was, working on an explainer about precisely that connection, when Mark Hosenball beat me to it. And he did an absolutely amazing job.
In a nutshell: Abdulmutallab got on something called the TIDE database after his father, Alhaji Mutallab, told U.S. officials at the embassy in Abuja, Nigeria about his budding extremism. That was last month. But Abdulmutallab already had a visa to enter the U.S. — one that was issued in June 2008 and valid until 2010. Hosenball picks up what happened after concerned embassy officials put Abdulmutallab’s name into a program called Viper that the State Department uses to track visa recipients:
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