With world terrorist attacks on the rise, some Americans question President Barack Obama’s efforts to bring an additional 100,000 refugees to the US.
Leading the opposition to President Obama’s Middle East refugee resettlement program, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) urged his colleagues to use the power of the purse to put an end to 100,000 Middle East refugees slated to arrive by the end of next year. Speaking from the Senate well, Sessions referred to dire warnings he heard from the US Citizen and Immigration Service Union director a year ago.
“It is also essential to warn the public about the threat that ISIS will explore our loose and lax visa policy to gain entry into the United States,” Sessions said.
Based on that testimonial, Sessions, along with GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, sent a letter to the Obama administration. “I sent the administration a letter with a list of 72 individuals charged or convicted of terrorism in just the last year,” he explained. “We wanted to know the immigration histories of these people, isn’t this a good thing to know?”
However Sessions complained that the White House has ignored his request, even though these immigrants have ties to ISIS as well as al-Qaeda.
“The most effective and compassionate solution is to resettle the refugees in the region in safe zones in the region rather than flying them to the United States,” he argued. “Each and every year the US issues green cards to roughly one million immigrants, they admit 500,000 thousand in foreign students, on top of that we distribute work visas to approximately 700, 000 foreign workers.”
With the added security threats and costs associated with resettling refugees, more and more lawmakers are urging their respective party leadership to look into establishing so-called “safe zones” in the Middle East.
Senator Sessions’ list disclosed a sampling of the criminal indictments and convictions related to terrorism in the US allegedly committed by refugees/immigrants:
On January 29, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, a federal warrant was unsealed for the arrest of Liban Haji Mohamed – a native of Somalia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – for allegedly providing material support to Harakat Shabaab Al-Mujahidin, also known as Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda. Mohamed is believed to have left the U.S. on July 5, 2012, with the intent to join Al-Shabaab in East Africa. According to the Washington Times, Mohamed previously lived in the metro D.C. area and worked as a cab driver, and is believed to have snuck across the border to Mexico after being placed on the no-fly list. Carl Ghattas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office emphasized the importance of locating Mohamed, “because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings . . . [t]his makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.”
On April 20, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Abdurahman Yasin Daud – who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, came to the United States as a refugee when he was a child, and subsequently adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status – was charged (along with six others) with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. According to the LA Times, “Daud and another individual drove from Minnesota to San Diego to attempt to get passports, cross the border into Mexico, and fly to Syria in an attempt to join ISIS. Criminal Complaint Indictment here.
On April 20, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Guled Ali Omar – who was also born in a Kenyon refugee camp, and sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee when he was a child, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied and received– was charged with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Omar is the younger brother of another inducted fugitive, Ahmed Ali Omar, who left the United States in 2007 to fight for Al-Shabaab. Another one of his brothers, Mohamed Ali Omar, was convicted in March of threatening federal agents when they came to the family’s residence to interview Guled Omar. During a press conference, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Andy Luger, said that Omar “never stopped plotting,” and had previously attempted to leave the US. Criminal Indictment here.
On August 12, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, Fazliddin Kurbanov – a native of Uzbekistan who came to the United States as a refugee in 2009– was found guilty on charges that he conspired and attempted to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessed an unregistered destructive device. U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin stated that he “conspired to provide material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and procured bomb-making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on American soil.” According to press reports, Kurbanov began his Life as a Muslim, but faced persecution after his family converted to Orthodoxy Christianity, according to KTVB TV. After coming to the United States with his family as a refugee, Kurbanov is said to have converted back to Islam and radicalized. Superseding Indictment.
Read part one: City of Lights explodes – Paris and Europe awaken
Read part three: Who supports the SAFE Act?