by Clare M. Lopez Originally published by the Gatestone Institute April 29, 2013
One of the more striking—and worrisome—aspects of the April 2013 Boston Marathon terror attack and the cross-border al-Qa'eda/Iran plot to bomb a passenger railway that runs between New York City and Toronto, Canada is the realization that all four suspects so far identified in the two plots had entered legally into the United States and Canada, respectively. Crossing legally into Western countries targeted for terror attacks, entering immigrant and refugee streams without drawing attention from security services, and blending into existing multicultural communities while establishing personas indistinguishable from those of tens of thousands of other new arrivals, appears to be a tried and true modus operandi for Islamic jihadis. It definitely worked for the fifteen of nineteen 9/11 hijackers who were Saudis.
Given the reality of that threat, brought home yet again to North America with these two latest plots, now is probably not the best time for the current administration to revive the visa program that allowed the Saudi government to help screen visa applicants for fast-track entry into the U.S. And yet, that is exactly what just happened: an agreement between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was reached in January 2013 that would accept Saudi applicants into the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program.