WASHINGTON – Beginning Oct. 1, U.S. immigration inspectors will be allowed to fingerprint, photograph and track visiting aliens who have traveled to Indonesia or Malaysia and can’t credibly explain their trips there, authorizes a confidential Justice Department memo, a copy of which was obtained by WorldNetDaily.
It’s the first time Asian nations have been singled out for immigration restrictions in the war on terrorism. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have heavy Muslim populations and harbor al-Qaida cells.
The internal document, dated Sept. 5, reveals that immigration inspectors have been given much wider latitude in screening and monitoring foreign visitors than has been reported.
“Any nonimmigrant alien, regardless of nationality, must be specially registered when the inspecting officer has determined or [has] reason to believe that a nonimmigrant meets pre-existing criteria, as determined by the Attorney General [John Ashcroft], that would indicate that such alien’s presence in the United States warrants monitoring in the interest of national security,” states the memo, written by Johnny N. Williams, INS executive associate commissioner, and sent to INS regional directors under strict orders not to discuss or share it with the media or public.
Under seven new criteria, which have not been made public, inspectors have the “discretion” to specially register aliens if:
- “The nonimmigrant alien has made unexplained trips to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia or Malaysia, or the alien’s explanation of such trips lacks credibility.”
- “The nonimmigrant alien has engaged in other travel, not well explained by the alien’s job or other legitimate circumstances.”
- “The nonimmigrant alien has previously overstayed in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, and monitoring is now appropriate in the interest of national security.”
- “The nonimmigrant alien meets characteristics established by current intelligence updates and advisories.”
- “The nonimmigrant alien is identified by local, state or federal law enforcement as requiring monitoring in the interest of national security.”
- “The nonimmigrant alien’s behavior, demeanor or answers indicate that [the] alien should be monitored in the interest of national security.”
- “The nonimmigrant alien provides information that causes the immigration officer to reasonably determine that the individual requires monitoring in the interest of national security.”
The memo requires INS officers to first seek the OK of their supervisors before referring such visiting aliens to special registration based on the criteria.
Previously, INS inspectors were limited to singling out for special screening visitors from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Syria – and Syria was only recently added to their list of special-interest countries.
U.S. intelligence officials say there is growing evidence that Muslim extremists in Malaysia and Indonesia pose a terrorist threat to the U.S.
Fewer than half of Malaysians are Muslim, but Islam is
still the official religion there, says Ph.D.
historian Serge Trifkovic, author of “The Sword of the
Prophet: Islam History, Theology, Impact on the
World.” Import and sale of the Bible in Malay is
banned, he says, and it’s against the law for a Muslim
to convert to Christianity or other religions.
Much of the population there is sympathetic to al-Qaida’s brand of militant Islamic supremacy and is radically anti-American. During the bombing campaign in Afghanistan, for example, tens of thousands of protesters in Malaysia chanted: “Go to Hell, America” and “Destroy America,” notes Mideast scholar Daniel Pipes, author of “Militant Islam Reaches America.”
Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaz al-Hazmi, were among al-Qaida operatives who met in Malaysia in January 2000. They were joined at the meeting by Tawfiq Attash Khallad, an al-Qaida leader accused of masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.
Trifkovic says Indonesian Muslims have waged “murderous terror” on Christians, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of them in East Timor.
He says Washington, until now, has looked away because of a covert program sponsored by the Clinton administration. Codenamed “Iron Balance,” Indonesian militants linked to the carnage in East Timor were trained in the U.S.
Trifkovic suggests Clinton tolerated the Islamic jihad against Christian “infidels” there to appease ex-President Suharto, who was in bed with major Clinton-Gore fund-raisers Mochtar Riady and his son James Riady, who was convicted of campaign-finance violations along with John Huang, the U.S. representative for their Jakarta-based Lippo Group conglomerate. (Chinese-born Mochtar Riady allegedly changed his Chinese name to get along in predominantly Muslim Indonesia.)
Pipes says large numbers of Indonesians also last year protested the U.S. counterattacks in Afghanistan by chanting, “U.S., go to Hell!”
Indonesia authorities only recently acknowledged that al-Qaida members have operated in the country after denying it for months after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Omar al-Faruq, another al-Qaida leader in Southeast Asia, was arrested by Indonesian authorities in June. Al-Faruq reportedly was behind a series of church bombings in Jakarta in 2000. He’s now in custody at the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan.
A Justice official, speaking on condition he not be named, told WorldNetDaily that Ashcroft has added to the INS registration list “any country where there is significant terrorist activity,” and Indonesia and Malaysia are no exception.
The policy goes into effect Oct. 1 at all U.S. land, sea and air ports.