Future 9/11 Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar returned to the United States on July 4, 2001. “For the American intelligence community, it was yet another humiliating blunder. Once again, the U.S. embassy in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, issued Mihdhar a B-1/B-2 (tourist/business) visa. And once again he was able to enter the U.S. and disappear… his name had never been placed on a watch list. Prior to obtaining the visa, Mihdhar had obtained a new ‘clean’ passport, but like the previous document it also contained a secret coded indicator, placed there by the Saudi government, warning of a possible terrorist affiliation. U.S. passport control officers, however, had no knowledge that such a code system existed. In addition, his visa application contained at least one false statement, indicating that he had never traveled to the U.S. before. And his passport was technically invalid since it had no expiration date (apparently an accident)–a fact the inspector at JFK failed to notice that could have triggered closer scrutiny or even barred him from entry.”

 – James Bamford, The Shadow Factory, Pages 58-59