September 11 Detainees: A Review of the Treatment of Aliens Held on Immigration Charges in Connection with the Investigation of the September 11 Attacks   [open pdf - 13MB]

"On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four airplanes and flew two of them into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed into a field in southwestern Pennsylvania before it could strike a target in Washington, D.C. The attacks killed more than 3,100 people, including all 246 people aboard the 4 airplanes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) immediately initiated a massive investigation, called 'PENTTBOM,' into this coordinated terrorist attack. The FBI investigation focused on identifying the terrorists who hijacked the airplanes and anyone who aided their efforts. In addition, the FBI worked with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to prevent follow-up attacks in this country and against U.S. interests abroad. Shortly after the attacks, the Attorney General directed the FBI and other federal law enforcement personnel to use "every available law enforcement tool" to arrest persons who "participate in, or lend support to, terrorist activities." One of the principal responses by law enforcement authorities after the September 11 attacks was to use the federal immigration laws to detain aliens suspected of having possible ties to terrorism. Within 2 months of the attacks, law enforcement authorities had detained, at least for questioning, more than 1,200 citizens and aliens nationwide. Many of these individuals were questioned and subsequently released without being charged with a criminal or immigration offense. Many others, however, were arrested and detained for violating federal immigration law."

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U.S. Dept. of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov
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