Recently Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution reported to Congress that the Homeland Security Agency “…appears to be functioning quite well in helping track those foreigners in the United States on student visas.”
Meanwhile, The University of Montana arranged for the exchange of 20 Egyptian students. Of them, three were denied entry for "unspecified reasons" and the other 17 were given F1 student visas, and allowed to travel here from Mansoura University in Alexandria, Egypt. Of those that arrived nearly two weeks ago at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on July 29th, 11 seem to have vanished without a trace. The University reports that only one arrived July 29th, one on the 30th, and four more on July 31st.
The students in question weren’t even reported as missing by the University until August 3rd, and the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) didn’t issue an alert for them until August 5th!
This is not a comforting set of circumstances weeks before the 5-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, expecially since the remaining 11 Egyptians are all described as male between the ages of 18 and 22. The missing students have yet to report their whereabouts and law enforcement agencies at all levels are at a loss to locate them. All 17 were in this country to participate in month-long program designed to teach English as a Second Language and also to attend several other classes regarding American Culture. Later they were to tour Yellowstone National Park.
The FBI and ICE have coordinated a nationwide “Be On the Lookout” search with other federal and local law enforcement agencies, but as yet have no idea where these men are, though they insist that the missing men are not a threat.
Homeland Security is not making me feel too secure right now, even if this does turn out to be a false alarm.