US: European Islamists present a threat

Secretary Michael Chertoff of Homeland Security said he wants to tighten travel rules for Europeans entering the United States without visas, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported yesterday. "We want to increase our security standard by introducing electronic travel approvals," Chertoff said, according to an advance copy of a Spiegel interview to be published Monday. He said that Europeans who are allowed to enter the U.S. under a visa-waiver program should register online and fill out a questionnaire 48 hours before they fly into the country. Islamist terrorists traveling with European passports presented a threat to America, he said. "When we identify areas where we are vulnerable, it becomes obvious that Europeans traveling without visas belong to these areas," Chertoff said, adding that the United States could not abstain from collecting data because of European concerns. "In the end, Europeans have to realize that we will never leave the decision about who is going to enter our country to another government." The current program allows citizens from most Western European countries and some from other parts of the world to enter the country without visas. It excludes many of the newer European Union member states. The U.S. visa-waiver program was created in 1988 and was focused on preventing illegal immigration.
Source: Winston Salem Journal (English)

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