- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 23, 2002

Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday announced that men who entered the United States on or before Sept. 30 from 13 countries considered at higher risk for terrorism must register with the government.

The order concerns only males born on or before Dec. 2, 1986, who are from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In addition, the men must be intending to stay in this country at least until Jan. 10.

The order affects thousands of men, including those in the United States on student and long-term travel visas. The order does not apply to permanent residents, those persons with U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service "green cards" or to naturalized citizens from those countries. Diplomats also are excluded, as well as those who are seeking or were granted political asylum in the country.

The men must be fingerprinted and photographed at their local INS office, and must be able to provide detailed information about their backgrounds and the purpose of their visit.

Mr. Ashcroft earlier this month announced similar requirements for males at least 16 years old from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Syria, saying that since the September 11 terrorist attacks on America, "we must have a better understanding of who is entering and exiting our country."

The Justice Department has vigorously pursued an anti-terrorism program aimed at screening visitors at borders who come from countries identified by U.S. intelligence officials as terrorism risks.

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