Nearly 10,000 blank French passports have been stolen along with other French documents that would allow persons to enter the United States for up to
90 days without obtaining a visa. Blank drviers licesnse and blank Automobile ownership papers are also missing. As of now there are no clues to
link this to terrorist activity.
Nearly 10,000 blank French passports were stolen in February, leading the FBI to warn U.S. law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout.
"These stolen passports are of particular concern because France participates in the Visa Waiver Program (search) that allows visitors from 27
nations to enter the United States for pleasure for 90 days without a visa," the FBI said in the warning issued Wednesday.
French officials notified the U.S. Embassy in Paris (search) that 6,300 blank passports were stolen on Feb. 3 and another 3,000 disappeared on Feb.
10, the bulletin said.
Fraudulent or illicitly acquired travel documents, such as passports and visas, compromise the security of U.S. borders by providing means to gain
unlawful entry into the country. Fraudulently issued or altered passports can be used by criminals, including terrorists, to adopt false identities,
impersonate other citizens or conceal suspicious travel."
The FBI said that other French passports were stolen in July and September.
The Feb. 3 incident, the FBI said, also included the theft of 5,000 blank French driver's licenses, 10,000 blank car ownership certificates, 25
titres de voyages (Geneva Convention travel documents) and 1,000 international driver's licenses without any identification numbers.
Missing passports, drivers license, blank car ownership papers, anything that one would need to possibly get a new identity.
As of now, there is no information that this is tied to terrorist activity, however anyone with information is being asked to contact the Deptartment
of Homeland Security.
Anyone think this is terrorist related or plain old theft for personal gain?
[Edited on 15-4-2004 by Banshee]