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Craig O. Thompson

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A Loop-hole for “Saudi” Terrorists? Under the “What Were They Thinking” Category...
by Craig O. Thompson   

Last edited: Monday, July 01, 2002
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2002

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Americans and Canadians continue the debate over trucker ID cards, foreign national biocards, iris scans, and the right to privacy. Yet, portions of an easily overlooked Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada, and skirmishes over trade laws, could render our borders impotent--and make way for more terrorists using false ID's



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Op-ed / Feature Column

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Craig O. Thompson

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Copyright © 2002 Craig O. Thompson.

You may publish this Op-ed, or longer article that follows, one time for free provided that you use the byline and author profile. Please do not change the author profile or the intent of the Op-ed piece or feature article, itself, if shortened . I would appreciate a courtesy copy when the article is published. If you have any questions or comments about my work, feel free to contact me at BrightPub.aol.com.
Thanks,

Craig O. Thompson, Author, Terrorism Expert, Keynoter

http://www.keynoteR-central.com

AUTHOR PROFILE: Craig O. Thompson, is a spokesperson for
the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals. He is the author of the book on global terrorism, <i>OMAR: A Novel</i> (Brightwater Publishing Company / StrataGem Press™, HC #0-9675207-03 and SC #0-9675207-11), and the upcoming non-fiction book, The Terrorist Cell Game©. A keynoter and workshop leader for Business Contingency and Disaster Recovery Plans, he is a member of the Institute for Business and Home Safety, and the Association of (Business) Contingency Planners International.


Op-Ed - 819 words

(Note: The feature article follows at end, if you choose not to run Op-Ed)

A Loop-hole for "Saudi" Terrorists?
Under the "What Were They Thinking" Category...



By

Craig O. Thompson




INDIANAPOLIS, IN - February 12, 2002 -- North Americans continue the debate over trucker ID cards, foreign national biocards, iris scans, and the right to privacy. Yet, portions of the easily overlooked Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada could render our Northern border impotent--and make way for more terrorists using false ID's.

Witness a little-discussed provision, with potentially lethal possibilities, buried deep within the regulations of existing law.

Courtesy of the department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada--better known as CIC, a proposed change in regulations still contain a loop-hole, for Kamikaze terrorists, so big that the H.M.S. Titanic could have sailed through.

Given the events of September 11th, a review of the regulations made under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, recently passed by the parliament, begs the question....What were Canadian immigration officials thinking?

Having "received Royal Assent," as all proposed Federal laws must, and now in "pre-publishing" mode--with a second round to be published on March 15th for review and comment--the dangerous language only amounts to a few words.

The clause titled "Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions," in the regulations, Section 183, Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations of Canada, allows for the following:

183. (1) A foreign national does not require a temporary resident visa if they
(a) are a citizen of...Botswana, Brunei
Darussalam...Malaysia...Saudi Arabia...


Nearly fifty countries are exempt. With all that we know about Saudi national's involvement in the Attack on America, and the body of evidence compiled regarding Saudi involvement with Al Qaeda, I cannot understand why Canadian authorities allowed Saudi Arabia--and several other dubious state nationals--to remain as "exempt" from visas to enter Canada.

Section 183 could profoundly affect and effect the lives of thousands of American and Canadian citizens. As written, it could render any future debate over Saudi nationals, as potential terrorists, a moot point.

Despite recent counterterrorism measures implemented by the Canadian Passport Office and, regardless of Canada's anti-terrorism legislation,

it would appear the CIC has revised its immigration regulations without a word-by-word interpretation of potential consequences.

With all the history of Saudi Arabian involvement in the events of September 11th, and the all-too-real hatred of Americans by thousands of foreign nationals, why has the language of Section 183 escaped the scrutiny of our good neighbors to the North. This cannot just be an oversight.

Disturbed by loop-holes in the law, Sergio R. Karas, a Toronto immigration lawyer, wrote a letter of concern to Denis Coderre, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and to William Graham, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Copies were sent to several U.S. high-ranking officials, including Secretary Colin Powell, Governor Tom Ridge and Attorney General Ashcroft. With the exception of a reply from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, agreeing with Mr. Karas' concerns and describing them as "very real," each have gone unanswered.

I share Mr. Karas' concern. To continue to allow Saudi nationals entrance to Canada without having to first obtain a visitor's visa at a Canadian Embassy abroad, is irresponsible. Since most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis or carried Saudi passports, this law sets an extremely dangerous precedence.

Terrorists would not need to be true Saudi nationals to get through the gate. Any terrorist, hell-bent to enter America illegally, could obtain false Saudi ID's and passports, and first gain entrance into Canada.

Borders be damned, they would find their way into the United States across what has been described by border control expert, Stephen E. Flynn, as "the longest unprotected border in the history of the world."

At a time when America and its allies must fight a long-term, world-wide, asymmetric war against global terrorism, our friends to the North must be more sensitive to the nature of the battle.

As our Canadian advocate, Mr. Karas, points out, "Saudi Arabia does not accord reciprocity to Canadians wishing to travel there. Canadians must first apply for a visa. The application requires disclosure of one's religious affiliation. Even after obtaining a visa, travel is restricted. Women are not allowed to travel alone or drive, and Saudi Arabia is one of the world's worst human rights violators."

In fact," Karas states, "Canada has no strategic oil alliance or significant economic ties with Saudi Arabia." Therefore, we must vigorously oppose the continuing practice of granting visa-free travel privileges to Saudi nationals.

Contact the CIC, immediately. Encourage Canadian authorities to rewrite the "Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions" section. Proposed changes in regulations for the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act should exclude Saudi Arabian nationals, and others with dangerous allegiances, from this exemption.

The web site for the proposed Canadian regulations is:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/about/policy/imm-act.html. Review the section in question. According to the web site for CIC, "...Comments on the proposed regulations can be sent to the Department's Legislative Review and Implementation Branch" by Emailing to:

lr-info-rl.cic.x400.gc.ca. Or, fax to 1-613-946-0581.

Then, write the White House and Congress. If you need addresses to contact politicians, call Project: Vote Smart at 1-800-VOTESMART or go to their web site at: www.vote-smart.org.

For Americans to be concerned about Section 183 is only natural. For Mr. Karas to express his concern, as a Canadian, is noble and a true act of kindness toward our country.
-- 30 --



PLEASE NOTE: Mr. Thompson and Mr. Karas are available for print and electronic media interviews. As a spokesperson for the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals, terrorism expert and keynoter, Thompson, has been interviewed by over 200 worldwide media outlets--just since the Attack on America. Mr. Karas is a noted authority practicing exclusively in the area of Canadian Immigration law and United States Consular processing.

Craig O. Thompson (BrightPub.aol.com)

Terrorism Expert

keynoteR-central.com


P.O. Box 503, Greenwood, IN   46142

Phone : 1-317-883-3603

Fax : 1-317-883-3603


Feature Article - 1207 words

(Note: This feature may be used as an alternate to the Op-ed piece, above)

AUTHOR PROFILE: Craig O. Thompson, is a spokesperson for the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals. He is the author of the book on global terrorism, OMAR: A Nove (Brightwater Publishing Company / StrataGem Press™, HC #0-9675207-03 and SC #0-9675207-11), and the upcoming non-fiction book, The Terrorist Cell Game©, due Summer, 2002. A keynoter and workshop leader for Business Contingency and Disaster Recovery Plans, he is a member of the Institute for Business and Home Safety, and the Association of (Business) Contingency Planners International.

Web site: www.keynoteR-central.com



A Loop-hole for "Saudi" Terrorists?

Under the "What Were They Thinking" Category...



By

Craig O. Thompson




INDIANAPOLIS, IN - February 12, 2002 -- Americans and Canadians continue the debate over trucker ID cards, foreign national biocards, iris scans, and the right to privacy. Yet, portions of an easily overlooked Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada, and skirmishes over trade laws, could render our borders impotent--and make way for more terrorists using false ID's.

Tied in with the national debate over security, a related discussion arose last week between the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, and the Canadian Minister of Finance, Paul Martin. The question: Will the push for U.S. border security hamper Canada's ability to do business over a boundary where trade is already log-jammed?

According to Alan Toulin, in his article within the National Post, of Canada, "Security is front and centre of the agenda of the Americans and this overarches all the other efforts to try and advance trade facilitation."

In the same article, Bob Keyes, a senior analyst with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says, "Security is still paramount in the U.S. mind and it is standing in the way."

A legitimate concern to Canadian business owners, where reportedly 80% of their exports enter the U.S. Just one question: At this time in history, is a Canadian trade agreement more important than U.S. border security issues? Not on your life.

Except for opinions on trade issues, the significance of mutual safety for our shared border seems to have escaped the minds of several other Canadian officials.

One week before the Attack on America, the master of misdirection and deception--Osama bin Laden--steered our attention to the Far-east with threats of attacks on any business or facility that served Americans in Japan and South Korea. While we carry on seemingly simple dialogue, about trade with our good neighbors, we could be looking in the wrong direction, again.

Witness a little-discussed provision, with potentially lethal possibilities. It is buried deep within the regulations of existing law under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada--a soon to be revised law with similar language.

Courtesy of the department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada--better known as CIC, the proposed change in regulations still contain a loop-hole, for Kamikaze terrorists, so big that for H.M.S. Titanic could have sailed through.

A grave concern is not what is new in these regulations...rather what is old in the proposed revision. Given the events of September 11th, a review of the proposed regulations made under the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, recently passed by the Canadian parliament, begs the question....What were Canadian immigration officials thinking?

Having "received Royal Assent," as all proposed Federal laws must, and now in "pre-publishing" mode--with a second round to be published on March 15th for review and comment--the dangerous language only amounts to a few words.

The exemption clause titled "Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions," in the regulations, Section 183, Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations of Canada, allows for the following:

183. (1) A foreign national does not require a temporary resident visa if they


(a) are a citizen of...Botswana, Brunei
Darussalam...Malaysia...Saudi Arabia...


Nearly fifty countries are exempt. With all that we know about Saudi national's involvement in the Attack on America, and the body of evidence compiled regarding Saudi involvement with Al Qaeda, I cannot understand why Canadian authorities allowed Saudi Arabia--and several other dubious state nationals--to remain as "exempt" from visas to enter Canada.

If enacted as law, Section 183 could profoundly affect and effect the lives of thousands of American and Canadian citizens...and render any argument over trade a moot point.

Despite recent counterterrorism measures implemented by the Canadian Passport Office and, regardless of Canada's anti-terrorism legislation, the CIC has apparently revised its immigration regulations without a word-by-word interpretation of potential consequences.

With all the history of Saudi Arabian involvement in the events of September 11th, and the all-too-real hatred of Americans by thousands of foreign nationals, why has the language of Section 183 escaped the scrutiny of our good neighbors to the North? This cannot just be an oversight.

Disturbed by loop-holes in the law, Sergio R. Karas, a Toronto immigration lawyer, wrote a letter of concern to Denis Coderre, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and to William Graham, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Copies were sent to several U.S. high-ranking officials, including Secretary Colin Powell, Governor Tom Ridge and Attorney General Ashcroft. With the exception of a reply from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, agreeing with Mr. Karas' concerns and describing them as "very real," each have gone unanswered

I share Mr. Karas' concern. To continue to allow Saudi nationals entrance to Canada, without having to first obtain a visitor's visa at a Canadian Embassy abroad, is irresponsible. Since many of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis or carried Saudi passports, this law sets an extremely dangerous precedence.

Terrorists would not need to be true Saudi nationals to get through the gate. Any terrorist, hell-bent to enter America illegally, could obtain false Saudi ID's and passports, and first gain entrance into Canada. Borders be damned, they would find their way into the United States.

Apparently this does not faze officials of the CIC who exhibit a completely naive attitude. Quoted in a recent Canada Gazette article (2-8-02), Susan Scarlett, Immigration Department spokeswoman, said, "We're constantly looking at whether or not there are any problems that may exist or whether there are any concerns relating to travelers from all countries." She continued, "Saudi nationals clearly did not pose a problem to Canada."

At a time when we are fighting a long-term, world-wide asymmetric war, our friends to the North must be more sensitive to the nature of the battle.

As our Canadian advocate, Mr. Karas, points out, "Saudi Arabia does not accord reciprocity to Canadians wishing to travel there. Canadians must first apply for a visa. The application requires disclosure of one's religious affiliation. Even after obtaining a visa, travel is restricted within Saudi Arabia. Women are not allowed to travel alone, not allowed to drive, and Saudi Arabia is one of the world's worst human rights violators."

In fact," Karas states, "Canada has no strategic oil alliance or significant economic ties with Saudi Arabia." Therefore, we must vigorously oppose the continuing privilege of granting visa-free travel privileges to Saudi nationals.

Contact the CIC, immediately. Encourage Canadian authorities to rewrite the "Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions" section. Proposed changes in regulations for the Immigration and Refugee Protection Actshould exclude Saudi Arabian nationals, and others with dangerous allegiances, from this exemption.

The web site for the proposed Canadian regulations is:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/about/policy/imm-act.html. Review the section in question. According to the web site for CIC, "...Comment on the proposed regulations can be sent to the Department's Legislative Review and Implementation Branch" by Emailing to:


lr-info-rl.cic.x400.gc.ca. Or, fax to 1-613-946-0581.


Then, write the White House and Congress. If you need addresses to contact politicians, call Project: Vote Smart at 1-800-VOTESMART or go to their web site at: www.vote-smart.org.

For Americans to be concerned about Section 183 is only natural. For Mr. Karas to express his concern, as a Canadian, is noble and a true act of kindness toward our country.


-- 30 --



PLEASE NOTE: Mr. Thompson and Mr. Karas are available for print and electronic media interviews. As a spokesperson for the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals, terrorism expert and keynoter, Thompson, has been interviewed by over 200 worldwide media outlets--just since the Attack on America. Mr. Karas is a noted authority practicing exclusively in the area of Canadian Immigration law and United States Consular processing.


Craig O. Thompson (BrightPub.aol.com)

Terrorism Expert

keynoteR-central.com

P.O. Box 503

Greenwood, IN   46142

Phone : 1-317-883-3603

Fax : 1-317-883-3603


Web Site: Terrorism Expert and Speaker Craig O. Thompson


Reader Reviews for "A Loop-hole for “Saudi” Terrorists? Under the “What Were They Thinking” Category..."


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Reviewed by m j hollingshead
interesting
Reviewed by m j hollingshead
mister, if i could give you all the money in the world it would not be enough for the sacrifices you make in doing your job so well. expert article! you are one awesome dude. loop holes are for letting out the air. let enough of it out and there ain't nothing left. we got lots of "loop holes" across our borders. hey, that don't bother heraldo though. he's a tv star.
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