Fort Dix Suspects Illegally In U.S. For 20 Years
By Michael Isikoff and Mark HosenballNewsweek
The arrest last week of three New Jersey terror suspects who entered the United States illegally more than two decades ago is raising new questions about weaknesses in American immigration controls before and after 9/11.
Newsweek has learned that an application for asylum filed in 1989 by the family of three suspects in the New Jersey plot stalled inside the federal bureaucracy for 16 years due to a paperwork "backlog."
Federal immigration officials finally took a more careful look at the family's immigration history two years ago, and recommended a more thorough investigation by the FBI and Homeland Security agents into possible immigration fraud, according to a source familiar with the case who asked not to be named talking about sensitive material. But before anything came of that investigation, the FBI and local authorities launched a separate undercover operation which resulted in the suspects' arrest last week on charges of plotting to shoot soldiers at Fort Dix, allegedly using assault rifles and machine guns.