A U.S. consular official originally denied terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab a visa to enter the United States in 2004 after finding false information on his application, but that official was overruled by a supervisor, according to senior government sources.

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A U.S. consular official originally denied terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab a visa to enter the United States in 2004 after finding false information on his application, but that official was overruled by a supervisor, according to senior government sources.

Because the 2004 situation was considered resolved, it was not revisited in 2008, when Abdulmutallab received a second U.S. visa, which allowed him to board a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25, officials acknowledged. Abdulmutallab has been charged with trying to destroy the plane with a bomb. A senior Republican lawmaker said the reversal of the 2004 decision was a missed opportunity to keep him out of the country. In January, the Obama administration released a review of the case that outlined a number of missteps but did not include any reference to the visa denial.

Officials said that, in reversing the initial decision and granting Abdulmutallab a visa, consular officials took into account that his father was a prominent Nigerian banker with strong ties to his community. There was no derogatory information or suggestion that he had ties to Islamist terrorism.

Abdulmutallab first applied for a U.S. visa in Lome, Togo, but was told that he needed to apply closer to his place of residence in Nigeria. He returned to Lagos and filed an application that stated incorrectly that he had never been denied a visa, leading a consular official to deny him one.

“It’s kind of outrageous that the consular officer overturned this denial in the first place,” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in an interview. “The second thing is, if you go back to his first coming to this country, he could have been denied because he had lied on a previous application.”

Abdulmutallab’s visa history was recently shared with the Senate Intelligence Committee and House lawmakers, who have been exploring whether the government missed any red flags and could have prevented the Nigerian from entering the country.