US embassy cable - 05CAIRO2357

IMPROVING ANTI-TERRORISM SCREENING FOR CAIRO VISA OPERATIONS

Identifier: 05CAIRO2357
Wikileaks: View 05CAIRO2357 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Cairo
Created: 2005-03-24 15:14:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PTER KFRD EG
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 
S E C R E T CAIRO 002357 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CA/FPP FOR SIMONE BAER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2013 
TAGS: PTER, KFRD, EG 
SUBJECT: IMPROVING ANTI-TERRORISM SCREENING FOR CAIRO VISA 
OPERATIONS 
 
Classified By: Consul General Peter Kaestner, for reasons 1.4(c) and (g 
). 
 
1.  (S) Summary: On March 23, 2005, Cairo consular officers 
met with local ORA and LEGATT staff as part of an ongoing 
effort to train officers to enhance their ability to prevent 
terrorists from entering the United States through valid 
visas.  End summary. 
 
2.  (S) ORA began his briefing by discussing the importance 
of the consular officer in preventing terrorists from 
entering the United States.  He said that terrorist groups, 
such as Hizbollah and Al Qaeda, have attempted to enter the 
United States by obtaining visas, and consular officers are 
in an ideal position to stop them.  While section 214b, the 
section of U.S. immigration law which requires that all 
applicants for a tourist visa must have significant ties to a 
residence abroad, was intended to deter illegal immigration, 
the questions and criteria it forces a consular officer to 
consider also have relevance when considering whether 
someone's application is suspicious.  Unexplained wealth or 
income, travel to a country sponsoring terrorism, a lost 
passport, and inappropriate answers to questions can all be 
indicators of a potential terrorist operative.  He reminded 
the consular officers to always ask themselves if the 
applicant's answers are congruent with other indicators. 
 
3.  (SBU/NOFORN) LEGATT began his discussion by cautioning 
consular officers not to fixate on patterns or profiles, 
including gender, because terrorist groups are constantly 
shifting tactics as a way to stay one step ahead of security 
services.  In the absence of such rules, there are a number 
of non-verbal cues, especially the inappropriate intensity of 
the eyes, which can be important signals.  He also reviewed a 
number of common traits from the September 11, 2001 
terrorists and other Al Qaeda operatives.  Additionally, the 
LEGATT advised consular officers to consider the terrorist 
threat while working in all aspects of overseas consular 
work, including American citizen services and immigration 
visas.  He reminded them that terrorists have long coveted 
genuine residence documents and passports, and there is no 
reason to think that they haven't already obtained such 
benefits.  He concluded his remarks by saying that consular 
officers should trust their instincts, and ask follow up 
questions if an initial response does not seem right.  He 
also underscored the utility of complete applications for 
visas, which can be used by a variety of agencies for further 
tracking of suspicious individuals in the United States. 
 
4.  (SBU/NOFORN) Comment: This training session enabled 
post's consular officers to combine their knowledge of local 
conditions and customs with the perspective and expertise of 
two agencies with relevant background countering the 
terrorist threat.  Follow-up training will occur if 
situations change.  End comment. 
 
 
Visit Embassy Cairo's Classified Website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/cairo 
 
You can also access this site through the 
State Department's Classified SIPRNET website. 
 
GRAY 

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