So says Tom Kean, chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. It seems that not only did the 9/11 highjackers get past immigration. They also made it easily through airport security, despite arousing suspicion. This from AP:
It’s long been known that U.S. authorities had opportunities to stop at least some of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Now the extent of the government’s failures is coming to light.
At a two-day hearing this week, the federal commission investigating the attacks revealed U.S. authorities had numerous opportunities to stop the hijackers, including many face-to-face encounters.
The missteps included miscommunications about al-Qaida operatives dating back to the mid-1990s, hijackers who were allowed to repeatedly enter the United States even with false or the wrong visa papers, and missed chances to stop suspects at airport security checkpoints despite warning signs.
“We were asleep. Opportunities were lost,” said former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, a Republican who chairs the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. “The hijackers analyzed our system and developed a plan they felt sure would beat it in every case, and 19 out of 19 succeeded.” . . .
The commission said if military intelligence were shared about al-Qaida and their tendency to travel on Saudi passports, authorities would have known to stop them. . . .
“The question is, can you take an institution like the FBI and change its culture so it is focused on prevention of acts of terrorism rather than prosecution of criminal acts,” said former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., the panel’s vice chairman. “That’s a major question in homeland security.”
Yes it is. Another is: are we going to sleep again? I know I risk sounding like a broken record, but we still have not dealt adequately with Saudi Arabia. Likewise, we have allowed American Muslim advocacy groups of highly dubious pedigree to use political correct and multiculturalist cant to hinder anti-terror efforts. Until the causes are dealt with, the effects will continue.