Syrian Pres. Challenges Couric Question Using 9/11 Terrorists

By Chris Ariens 

Just days before the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used the day as an example when answering a question asked by CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.

Couric: Why don’t you require visas for Arab men coming into Damascus?
Assad: This is Syrian policy for decades.
Couric: But if it’s a problem, why not change Syrian policy?
Assad: No, no. Because most of the terrorists, they have regular ID. They will come legally. They won’t cross the border illegally. They have their ID but we do not know they are terrorist. How do you know that somebody is terrorist? For example, the 11th of September terrorists, they live in the United States. Why didn’t you catch them? Cause you didn’t know they were terrorists, the same. We have sleeping cells, like any other country. We have people who can help them. We have people who are coming. If you want to ask for visa and you don’t know him, you give him the visa. So the visa is not the solution.”

We’re told Couric’s interview with al-Assad happened at 11am local time in Damascus, seven hours (with a one-hour time difference) after the crew wrapped up The CBS Evening News from Baghdad at 3am. The breaking news from the region: the alleged Israeli incursion of Syrian airspace, happened after Couric’s interview with Assad.