Venezuela may have given passports to people with ties to terrorism

Article CAIRCO note: 
Related, Fox News: Feb., 12, 2017 "Venezuelans lead in US asylum requests as crisis deepens"
Article author: 
Scott Zamost, Drew Griffin, Kay Guerrero and Rafael Romo
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
12 February 2017
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

[...] CNN and CNN en Español teamed up in a year-long joint investigation that uncovered serious irregularities in the issuing of Venezuelan passports and visas, including allegations that passports were given to people with ties to terrorism. The investigation involved reviewing thousands of documents, and conducting interviews in the U.S., Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom.

One confidential intelligence document obtained by CNN links Venezuela's new Vice President Tareck El Aissami to 173 Venezuelan passports and ID's that were issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah
But it's not the first time allegations about Venezuelan passports have been made public ...

U.S. lawmakers heard reports about Venezuelan passport fraud during congressional hearings as far back as 2006. In fact, a congressional report warned, "Venezuela is providing support, including identity documents that could prove useful to radical Islamic groups."

And a state department report at the time also concluded that "Venezuelan travel and identification documents are extremely easy to obtain by persons not entitled to them." ...

Roger Noriega, the former US ambassador to the Organization of American States and former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, said in prepared remarks before a congressional in 2012 that "Venezuela has provided thousands of phony IDs, passports and visas to persons of Middle Eastern origin." ...

Related news: Venezuelans lead in US asylum requests as crisis deepens, Fox News, February 12, 2017