State Department Missed Underwear Bomber’s Visa Due to Spelling Mistake

This has got to be one of the most shocking revelation in this whole media circus, that as the “war on terror” enters its ninth year, the government doesn’t have software to help compensate for simple human error. Let’s hope they all can spell B-O-M-B … Elise Labott and Jill Dougherty report on CNN:

Can You Spell Bomb?

A timeline provided by the State Department officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, showed that an initial check of the suspect based on his father’s information failed to disclose he had a multiple-entry U.S. visa. The reason was that AbdulMutallab’s name was misspelled.

“That search did not come back positive,” said one official, who called it a quick search without using multiple variants of spelling. On November 20, a State Department cable to Washington on AbdulMutallab — based on the information from his father — lacked any mention of his visa, the officials said.

The spelling mistake was corrected two days later, and the State Department notified the National Counterterrorism Center of the correct spelling, the officials said. However, the State Department remained unaware that AbdulMutallab had the multiple-entry visa until after he allegedly tried to blow up the airplane more than a month later, the officials said.

Under new procedures announced by the government, the State Department will include visa information in all cables involving possible terrorist alerts.

Read More: CNN

2 Comments on "State Department Missed Underwear Bomber’s Visa Due to Spelling Mistake"

  1. Word Eater | Jan 10, 2010 at 9:36 pm |

    Isn't that just a transliteration of Arabic, anyway? If so, there are numerous ways it could be spelled and they would all be correct.

    • Yes, but this is exactly why software would be useful, to match up the various ways. This event should never have happened…

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