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A Look Ahead: House Committee on Homeland Security


Location: Washington, DC


Chairman Miller on the hearing: "Curtailing the ability of terrorists to travel to the United States can be one of the most effective counterterrorism tools. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, the 9/11 hijackers passed through U.S. border security 68 times, highlighting the need to strengthen border security and visa issuance policy. The relative ease with which past-terrorists evaded detection by presenting fraudulent documents and passports, and the failure to add known al-Qaeda operatives to terror watch lists became missed opportunities to stop the attacks.

"As the 9/11 Commission Report noted, "For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.' Building on the lessons learned, we have strengthened our outer ring of border security to conduct more rigorous checks overseas, collect biometric data, and continuously check visa holders against the terror watch lists. Although progress has been made, the 2009 Christmas Day Bomb plot exposed additional weaknesses in our efforts to prevent terrorists from obtaining a visa, or board a plane headed for the U.S. Our hearing will examine the progress made since then to strengthen this outer layer of border security."


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