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SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

DEPARTMENT OF STATE
BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Office of Inspector General


Memorandum of Conversation
Visas for the 9/11 Hijackers Consulate Jeddah 1/23/03
Subject Office Date

Miguel Ordonez. Consular Sect. Chief Bert Krieg and Doug Ellice
Official Inspector

Miguel Ordonez arrived at Jeddah on August 18,2001 and expects to be posted here until
August 2004. He speaks Arabic and he replaced Art Mills as consular section chief, the latter
having departed post in July 2001. Mr. Ordonez stated that there was a clear visa policy in
Jeddah from the nineties until the September 11,2001 hijackings. That policy was to consider
Saudi visa applicants to be drop box eligible. That is, Saudi nationals were permitted to drop off
their visa applications at the consulate. An American officer or consular associate who would
either issue the visa or call the individual into the consulate for an interview then reviewed those
applications. Only unusual cases such as medical students were interviewed, less than five
percent. Saudi Arabia was actually eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program, but since
the Kingdom refused to waive visas for visiting Americans, the Saudis could not actually
participate. Mr. Ordonez provided the inspectors with visa statistics for Jeddah which record the
numbers and percentages of visas issued and refused for the pre and post September 11,2001
periods.

Mr. Ordonez considered! |to be a good, hard working officer officer who
implimented the visa policies that were in place. She was irritated at the timing of the Visas
Express program which occured in May and June 2001. This was during the post's busiest time
of year and she Was obliged to take time off from visa adjudication in order to train the new
travel agents. Visas Express, which was virtually the privatization of visa data input by selected
travel agencies, also required the additional work of reviewing all documentation submitted by
visa applicants.

Visa FSNs Ms. Maha Adra and Mr. Azzam Yahya later confirmed all the above statements made
by Mr. Ordonez.

9/11 Working-level
Employee

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED