WASHINGTON – Fourteen Algerian nationals entered the U.S. over the weekend to train at a Texas flight school, immigration inspectors told WorldNetDaily. They followed on the heels of 14 Syrian nationals who arrived for flight school less than two weeks earlier.
Like the wave of Syrian men before them, the Algerian men, also in their 20s, flew into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport where they were processed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. They carried M-1 visas allowing them to stay in the U.S. on a temporary basis to attend vocational schools.
Texas INS agents, alarmed at the surge in Middle Eastern flight students after the Sept. 11 hijackings by Islamic terrorists, documented the Algerian group for the FBI, which chose not to detain the men for additional questioning.
Unlike Syria, Algeria is not on the State Department’s list of terrorist-sponsoring countries.
But the North African nation, home to the Armed Islamic Group and al-Qaida cells, has been identified by State as a growing hub of terrorist activity. Algeria borders Libya, which is an officially designated terrorist state.
After the Sept. 11 hijackings, the FBI questioned an Algerian man attending the American Flyers flight school in Fort Worth.
The FBI’s Dallas division has received thousands of leads pertaining to Middle Eastern men entering at DFW airport to attend area flight schools.
The Algerians are enrolled at Tyler International School of Aviation in Tyler, Texas, sources say. It’s the only school at Tyler airport.
Many of the Sept. 11 hijackers attended similar flight schools in Florida.
One of Osama bin Laden’s lieutenants recently promised to hit America with another “storm of planes.”
Crawford ranch security
Fort Worth is roughly 80 miles north of Crawford, Texas – where President Bush owns a ranch. He and his family frequently visit there. Tyler is roughly 120 miles northeast of Crawford.
Crawford Mayor Robert Campbell says he’s received no specific terrorist warnings.
He says Secret Service agents are stationed there around the clock, making it “quite difficult” for terrorists to strike.
“The Secret Service, sheriff’s department and military have the situation under control,” Campbell told WorldNetDaily. “We’re pretty confident that if we get any information [about an attack], we can respond quickly.”
He adds that U.S. Air Force bases near Dallas and Austin can quickly put up fighter jets to intercept any suspicious aircraft. Crawford is located between Dallas and Austin near Waco.
Iranian martial artists
In another development, INS sources told WorldNetDaily that six Iranian nationals entered at DFW airport last week. They told inspectors they were visiting the U.S. to attend a martial arts tournament.
Another group of eight Iranians arrived to go to what they claimed to be a building-materials competition.
Iran is one of the seven countries on State’s terrorist watch list.
Federal authorities do not plan to check up on the high-risk foreign visitors to see if they actually report to their destinations. And no computerized tracking system exists to alert authorities to foreigners who overstay their visas.
Bush, who just months before the attacks considered giving blanket amnesty to millions of Mexican aliens, earlier this week proposed tightening visa enforcement.
But his plan stops short of suspending visas for students and visitors from Arab terrorist states. They are still welcome in the U.S. – as long as their visa applications are OK’d by embassy workers in their home countries, and as long as they don’t show up on federal “lookout” lists of suspected terrorists.