Old passports have linked bin Laden’s sons to 2011 raids

Migrant children born to illegal immigrants in Maryland were in the right place at the right time.

They were among 57 people whose U.S. passports say they were born in Pakistan. And they were among the two dozen who have obtained security clearances to enter the United States.

The passports say they were born in Abbottabad — the birthplace of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. Navy Seals in May — and that their fathers were Pakistani.

The passports have been made public now because a lawsuit was filed to turn them over to U.S. authorities.

A Killeen, Texas, man sued US Customs and Border Protection after the men’s passports were discovered in a computer allegedly contained in bin Laden’s compound. They may belong to Osama bin Laden’s Saudi-born sons who have worked in Abbottabad, Pakistan, according to court papers.

US Customs and Border Protection did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

“This is our country,” said James Legge, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in California. “It’s our passport and our country.”

The passports came to light in an investigation by the Washington Post and ABC News into the security clearance of Ghulam Farid, a man arrested in 2010 in Joplin, Mo., as a terrorism suspect, and a man who recently worked at a white-noise research facility in Rockville, Md.

Both Ghulam Farid and the former Rockville employee were found to be foreign nationals, which makes it difficult to obtain clearances and to immigrate to the United States. In the case of Farid, the USP advised the FBI he was a Saudi national who came to the country as a visa visitor.

No response yet to defense

Investigators have been trying to determine whether Farid had direct ties to terrorist groups. But since his arrest he has remained in jail without bond, and he hasn’t responded to any of the documents in possession of law enforcement.

Meanwhile, the air in Washington is full of discussions about political theories of Saudi ties to the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as questions about the Saudi government’s cooperation with the federal government in the investigation.

Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary, seemed to tip his hand when he was asked about the Saudi connection during an interview with ABC News.

“We certainly have classified info on the Saudis, that doesn’t mean that we tell people that we don’t,” Gibbs said.

“We know what they’re hiding. They’re not. They are constantly trying to deflect the argument from being terrorist-related.”

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