Congressman seeks naturalisation record of Faisal Shahzad | world | Hindustan Times
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Congressman seeks naturalisation record of Faisal Shahzad

Faisal Shahzad was questioned by agents from a Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2004, years before his 2009 naturalisation

world Updated: May 07, 2010 13:52 IST

A top US lawmaker has sought the naturalisation record of Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American charged with plotting a bomb at Times Square in New York City on Saturday. Originally from Pakistan, Shahzad became a US citizen last year.

"Now the question is about making sure one hand of the government knows what the other is doing. We need to be sure that foreign nationals are not allowed to become citizens without first resolving any questions about their possible support for terrorism," said Senator Chuck Grassley, after he wrote a letter in this regard to the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano.

"According to news reports, Faisal Shahzad was questioned by agents from a Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2004, years before his 2009 naturalisation, and had transported approximately USD 80,000 in currency or monetary instruments into the United States," Grassley said.

In his letter to Napolitano, Grassley said his recent naturalisation raises questions about how thoroughly potential citizens are being vetted before being granted the privileges of US citizenship.

"This issue has arisen before, where aliens have been naturalized by one agency of our government even while under investigation by another," he said.

Shahzad also reportedly transported about USD 80,000 in currency or monetary instruments into the United States. Questions about these matters should have been raised and addressed during a change of status interview prior to the decision to grant naturalisation, Grassley added.

"Accordingly, it is necessary to investigate the path Shahzad took to becoming a United States citizen," the lawmaker demanded.