Germany Tracks 45 More Terror Suspects, US Allows Them To Cross Borders

As the old saying goes, “The plot thickens!”

ABC News posted a news report today, that indicates the investigation into terrorists operating in Europe has now identified an additional 45 suspects. Much of the information has been reportedly provided by Ahmed Sidiqqi, a man identified as being an al-Qaeda recruit who was arrested and has been providing information about a plot that was being put together by al-Qaeda to attack multiple cities in Europe. His claims have been purportedly substantiated by other sources.

One of those sources is Rami Makanesi, a German of Syrian descent, and a “member of the Hamburg group.” The report noted that he appears to have formed the nucleus for the planned attack.

Of course, while the title of this news report states that 45 more suspects are being tracked, there is no indication that all of these individuals have been located nor is there any indication that there may not be additional individuals who are involved with al-Qaeda in Europe.

There are a couple of quick facts I want you to consider.

First of all, I have often made the point that the day before a terrorist participates in a terrorist attack, he (she) is apt to go to the job where he has been hiding in plain sight for the past several months, or perhaps even years. Consider this quote from the news report:

Siddiqui worked as a cleaner at the Hamburg airport and was a “devout member” of the al-Quds mosque in Hamburg, where Mohammed Atta and other 9/11 hijackers gathered prior to their attack.

He was an airport cleaner which means he probably had at least limited access to “secure” areas at the airport where he had been employed. This is also consistent with what terrorists attempt to do when they seek employment – they want jobs that provide them with camouflage and the ability to routinely gain access to areas that are of potential interest to them. Imagine if he was able to hide a weapon in a location in a bathroom or even on an airliner – and then notify accomplices about the location of the weapons. The accomplices would easily pass through the most stringent screening before heading to an airliner and would be able to retrieve the weapon and board an airliner with it, to carry out a hijacking.

Siddiqui is also identified as being a citizen of Germany. This leads to the distinct possibility if not probability that Siddiqui may have maintained dual nationality. This is a real problem because as a dual national, he would have a German as well as an Afghani passport that would enable him to easily conceal his travel by using his German passport to travel to another European country. (While many articles described Siddiqui as being a German citizen of Afghani descent, a news report posted by Radio Station WTOP referred to him as being a German citizen of Afghani origin.)

This also reflects a major issue that involves naturalized citizens in Europe as well as in the United States being referred to as being “of descent” referring back to their countries of birth. I have even seen occasions when naturalized citizens who are arrested for involvement in terror plots in the United States as being referred to as being “home grown!”

The use of the term “home grown” also provides additional justification for the continual erosion of our expectations of privacy and freedom in the name of national security.

The problem with dual nationals who are involved in terrorism is that they are able to use the passport from the country where they naturalized in order to travel to a neutral country and then conceal that passport and use the passport issued by their country of birth to travel to the Middle East or elsewhere. When they return to Europe they also use the passport issued by their country of birth returning to the neutral country they first went to when they began their journey and conceal this passport and return to the country from which they acquired citizenship via the naturalization process using that country’s passport. By doing this, they effectively cover their tracks the way an individual who runs a border drags branches behind him to conceal his footprints.

Furthermore, aliens often manage to change their names when they naturalize and, in the case of the United States, not only can they change their name when they naturalize (at no additional cost!) the United States passport that they are issued only identifies them by the name they took on the day they were sworn in as new citizens!

I know of one such case in which a naturalized United States citizen who had been born in Lebanon who acquired an utterly “Anglicized” name when he naturalized. An experienced and very sharp-eyed CBP inspector in the United States noted that the returning United States citizen who stood before him at a major port of entry had a U.S. passport that indicated his place of birth was Lebanon. He had a thick Middle-Eastern accent and when asked, he provided his original name that, as it turned out, showed up in the various databases available to the inspector as a known terrorist! His passport reflected extensive travel throughout Europe and South America!

When notified about this individual’s arrival back to the United States, members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force came running and took him into custody.

I would suspect that had this individual attempted to enter many of the countries he easily entered under his new identity, furnished by the government of the United States through the naturalization process by using his original name – he would have been stopped.

The time has come for passports to reflect all of the names that a traveler has been known under in an effort to prevent this sort of craziness from happening!

It is also important, as I have noted on many previous occasions for our government to finally revisit the issue of the Visa Waiver Program that enables aliens from some 36 countries, many of which are in Europe, to seek to enter the United States without first applying for and obtaining a visa.

This is one of the reasons that even news reports note, is behind the efforts of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to seek to recruit citizens of Europe.

A recent AP news report stated that “dozens” of Europeans were in Pakistan for the purpose of terror training.

Fences are often used to provide an initial barrier to prevent criminals from breaking into a building or facility that is to be protected. The fences are generally placed along the perimeter of the land. The requirement that aliens first secure a visa before traveling to the United States to attempt to enter the United States effectively moves the borders of the United States out to the United States embassies and consulates where visa applications are received and processed.

Our nation, paradoxically, refuses to secure its land borders and hence no one should be surprised about my desire to move our borders out to embassies and consulates!

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Brad Stone, the Special Projects producer for WSB-TV, an Atlanta-based television station, concerning additional counterterrorism operations being conducted by the government in Atlanta, Georgia. Here is a link to the report he sent me:

Counterterror Operation Targets Bus Station This operation is the third by TSA in Metro Atlanta in the past two weeks

Brad Stone has also produced previous news reports on the risks posed to the United States by OTM (Other Than Mexican) who have evaded the inspections process and have entered our country, including aliens from so-called “Special Interest Countries,” that is to say, countries with known links to terrorism.

I was interviewed by Brad for one of his recent news reports and will appear in additional such reports.

Here is the link to the video of the disconcerting news report in which I make a brief appearance:

The point is that our government is failing at its most fundamental responsibilities of securing our nation’s borders and seeking to prevent the entry of criminals and terrorists whose goals include the slaughter of large numbers of our civilian population and the ultimate destruction of our nation and our way of life.

We the People, throughout this nation must seek opportunities to make it clear to our political “representatives” that we understand their game plan and won’t tolerate it!.

I believe our nation is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and members of al-Qaeda!

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!

We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal “Day of Reckoning!”

Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life. In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our “leaders.” Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings *before* more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

In less than 4 weeks, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection and more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, *We the People*!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that *We the People* absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of *We the People *to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.I implore you to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative.” This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue – simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

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Michael Cutler
Michael Cutler, a former Senior INS Investigator, an expert witness in more than a dozen Congressional Hearings is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and an advisor to the '911 Families for a Secure America.' He writes about the nexus between immigration and national security.