US screening of Saudi Arabian citizens up dramatically
Saudi Arabia-USA, Politics, 7/22/2002
U.S. Department of State said Friday that after the September 11 incidents, the US has greatly increased the amount of Saudi Arabian citizens that are being interviewed when they apply to enter the United States,
Spokesman Richard Boucher said last Friday "The number that I have used is to say that the general refusal rate for Saudi nationals before September 11th was about 3 percent. It's gone up since then."
He added "The interview rates have gone up dramatically since then, and there's an awful lot of other procedures being put into place to make sure that our processing of visas in Saudi Arabia, as elsewhere, is as careful as possible, is compared to all the information we can get our hands on, and that we fulfill our responsibility that we have to keep the wrong people out of the United States."
The US official agreed that the interview rate for Saudi nationals prior to September 11th also 3 percent and that this has "gone up dramatically. We interview 45 percent of all cases in -- I think it was last fiscal year, but since September 11th, we've been interviewing 60 percent of Saudi nationals, 72 percent of third-country nationals, and 92 percent of people in the target group of military-age males that's been identified by our intelligence and law enforcement agencies as of most concern. And we are working with our Embassy to -- embassies around the world to increase interview rates, and specifically in Saudi Arabia."
Worth noting that many Saudi nationals were amongst those that were involved in the September 11 attacks in the US.
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