Arrest of Terror Suspect Sparks Debate Over Student Visas

Friday, October 19, 2012

Quazi Mohammad Ahsanullah, the father of Bangladeshi national Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis who was arrested in New York for attempting to detonate a bomb, holds a portrait of his son. (AFP/Getty Images)

The arrest of a 21-year-old Bangladeshi man who came to the U.S. on a student visa and allegedly plotted to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in Lower Manhattan has prompted calls for greater scrutiny of the nation’s international student visa program.

Investigators say Quazi Nafis entered the U.S. with a student via in January under false pretenses. A Federal official with access to Nafis's visa file says the schools in Missouri and Brooklyn he attended are legitimate institutions and that all of Nafis's paper work was in order.

Following the September 11 terror attacks, Congress mandated tighter regulation of the international student-visa program that currently has 850,000 participants. But a recent study by the General Accounting Office study found that only 19 percent of the 10,000 schools in the program had been audited as required by law.  

This summer, investigators shut down what they called a "sham university” in California that sold 1,500 student visas for $5,000 to foreign nationals but required no attendance in classes.

New York Senator Charles Schumer said this week that similar operations continue to operate despite reforms: "We simply can't have a system where some one can by an all access pass to the country," Schumer said.


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Comments [6]

jason carney from nyc

funny how he apparently got all the equipment and material support from someone outside any network or affiliation of his own. I mean it was our own fbi, our own tax aided and funded encouragement in many ways. Who had the resources to get a van and fertilizer and electronics and on and on? not this kid but our own law enforcement.
Yeah, again a kid not out of a cave in the desert but from a jungle purported to have nearly disrupted our world as we know it. There hasnt been any "terrorist activity in 9ver ten years and in the month of an election year there were already two, maybe one could assume there will be more especially if our own law enforcement is able to facilitate and support these "attempts" materially.

Oct. 21 2012 08:58 AM

So the obvious question is: if it was so damn easy for this dude to get a student visa why do so many people come here illegally whining about being unable to complete the paper work?

Oct. 19 2012 06:39 PM
Hardeep from WI

I m from India, and but I agree with GGali.

Oct. 19 2012 05:12 PM
MH from Illinois

GGali, you do realize that most of graduate students and professors in US universities are *foreign-born*, right? Boot them out, and in an instant, the US university system will be in dark ages, falling behind even China and India.

Oct. 19 2012 05:09 PM
GGali from CA

We need to boot out all foreign students,workers on Visas and close our borders. Americans have the ability make anything we need or desire. Put Americans back to work manufacturing. No Visa's ,work permits. If not an American then go home. Stop spending huge amounts of money,aid in foreign countries. So sick of all this BS. AMERICA FOR AMERICAN'S...

Oct. 19 2012 04:52 PM
Ron from Caifornia

The restaurant where this F 1 student visa purported terrorist worked should immediately be closed and all employment records scrutinized as they hired individual not legally allowed to work in the U.S., if news reports are accurate.

Oct. 19 2012 04:25 PM

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