Last December, the State Department issued a student visa to the Bangladeshi man arrested this week for trying to blow up the Federal Reserve building with what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb, the State Department confirmed today.
Twenty-one-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, who was arrested Wednesday as part of an FBI sting operation, was reportedly in contact with al Qaeda before he entered the United States in January to attend Southeast Missouri State University, where he was studying cyber security. But the State Department’s system to check visa applicants didn’t find any reason to deny him entry, and the department issued his visa.
The State Department had also gave a Student Visa to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab the famous “underwear bomber” whose father had warned the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria that his son was dangerous. In this case, the plotter’s father has said he can’t believe his son was an aspiring terrorist.
In fiscal year 2011, the State Department issued 476,000 type “F” student visas worldwide, 1,136 of them for Bangladeshis.