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INS releases legal status of alleged hijackers

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) said Thursday at least nine of the 19 hijackers were in the United States legally on September 11. Of four others who had been granted nonimmigrant visas, at least three had overstayed those visas. The INS said it has no conclusive records yet on the remaining six hijackers.

The agency stressed its information is incomplete as investigators continue to learn more about when and how the hijackers entered the U.S.

The information was released after INS Commissioner James Ziglar, appearing before a Congressional panel Thursday, said he believed 10 of the hijackers had been in the U.S. legally at the time of the attacks.

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The uncertainty may arise from the undetermined status of hijacker Hani Hanjour, who was admitted on a student visa in December, 2000, but INS was unable to determine whether he was still in lawful status on September 11.

The status of the hijackers was among issues raised by lawmakers when the House Immigration Subcommittee met to consider ways to better secure the nation's borders.

The hearing focused largely on the use of new technologies to better control who travels into and out of the United States.

"We must work with advanced technology and do all we can to improve our systems, but we should not mislead ourselves into thinking that technology alone can solve our problems," Ziglar testified.

Ziglar, who has been at the helm of the INS for only two months, cautioned against overreacting to the terrorist attacks.

"If, in response to the events of September 11, we engage in excess and shut out what has made America great, then we will have given terrorists a far greater victory than they could have hoped to achieve," Ziglar said.

INS information on the individual hijackers identified by the FBI

According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service:

1) Khalid Al-Midhar was admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor in July, 2001. He appears to have been in lawful status on 9/11.

2) Majed Moqed was admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor in May, 2001. He appears to have been in lawful status on 9/11.

3) Nawaq Alhamzi was admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor in January, 2000. He appears to have overstayed the period the authorized time and was out of legal status on 9/11.

4) Salem Alhamzi was admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor in June, 2001. He appears to have been in lawful status on 9/11.

5) Hani Hanjour was admitted as a nonimmigrant student in student in December, 2000. INS is unable to determine at this time whether this subject was in lawful status on 9/11.

6) Satam Al Suqami: INS is unable to find any record relating to this name.

7) Waleed Alshehri was admitted in June, 2000, as a nonimmigrant, and appears to have been in illegal status on 9/11.

8) Wail Alshehri: INS is unable to find any record relating to this name.

9) Mohamed Atta was admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor in July, 2001 and appears to have been in legal status on 9/11.

10) Abdulaziz Alomari is believed to have been admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor in June, 2001. He appears to have been in lawful status on 9/11.

11) Marwan Al-Shehhi was admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor in May, 2001 and appears to have been in lawful status on 9/11.

12) Fayez Ahmed: INS is unable to confirm any relating record based on current information available.

13) Ahmed Alghamdi is believed to have been admitted as a nonimmigrant student and appears to have overstayed his authorized period of time in the U.S. before 9/11.

14) Hamza Alghamdi: INS is unable to confirm any relating record based on current information available.

15) Mohald Alshehri: INS is unable to confirm any relating record based on current information available.

16) Saeed Al ghamdi: INS is unable to confirm any relating record based on current information available.

17) Ahmed Alhaznawi was admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor in June, 2001 and appears to have been in legal status on 9/11.

18) Ahmed Alnami was admitted as a nonimmigtrant visitor in May, 2001 and appears to have been in legal status on 9/11.

19) Ziad Jarrahi was admitted to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant in July, 2001 and appears to have been in legal status on 9/11.



 
 
 
 


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