While there likely aren’t any posters depicting exotic destinations on the wall, an al-Qaida travel agency operates in Latin America to help terrorists enter the U.S., the 9-11 commission reports.
The revelation was part of the panel’s final report issued Saturday as the commission formally disbanded.
The global terror network operates a travel service that uses human smugglers as tools, reported Agence France-Presse.
“There are uncorroborated law-enforcement reports suggesting that associates of al-Qaida used smugglers in Latin America to travel through the region in 2002, before traveling onward to the United States,” the panel said, without offering specifics.
Though the reference is to 2002, recent news reports indicate a growing concern that Arab terrorists are using the porous southern border to enter the United States.
Though the problem is getting more attention now, WorldNetDaily reported in 2001 that the number of Middle Eastern illegals crossing the southern border was on the rise.
Federal agents said OTMs – border lingo for “other than Mexicans” – were an increasing problem.
The commission report also stresses the premium al-Qaida puts on creating false border documents, including passports. According to the panel, Osama bin Laden associate Abu Zubaydah was the network’s expert in travel fraud.
“He told them what kinds of clothes to wear, what kinds of airline tickets to purchase, how to alter their appearances and what to carry in order to avoid attracting suspicion from border authorities,” the report said.
Another part of the report stressed the many violations of immigration law committed by the 9-11 hijackers, pointing out if federal officials had detected any of the fraud, the September 11 attack may have been thwarted.