Two Iraqis, most likely refugees, have been arrested on terrorism charges in Kentucky
Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 1, 2011
Update June 4th: KY Senator Rand Paul calls for hearings, here.
Update June 2nd: Why take any Iraqis at all? here.
Here is the story yesterday from AP* (thanks to several readers who spotted it):
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) – Two Iraqis living in Kentucky have been arrested on charges that they tried to send sniper rifles, stinger missiles and money to Al-Qaida operatives in their home country, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.
Thirty-year-old Alwan and 23-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, who both have lived in Bowling Green since 2009, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury Thursday. Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States, and authorities say their weapons and money didn’t make it to Iraq because of a tightly controlled undercover investigation.
Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill a United States national, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and knowingly transferring, possession or exporting a device designed or intended to launch or guide a rocket or missile.
The FBI said Alwan told an informant that he took part in insurgent attacks on U.S. troops and had “f–ked up” Hummers and targeted Bradley fighting vehicles.
The indictment and criminal complaints were unsealed Tuesday after the pair made their initial appearances in federal court in Louisville. Both men entered pleas of not guilty and were remanded to federal custody.
Read it all.
And, here is the press release from the US Department of Justice which opens with the following paragraph—they weren’t just planning they had allegedly been working to harm our troops in Iraq before coming to the US!
WASHINGTON — An Iraqi citizen who allegedly carried out numerous Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and another Iraqi national alleged to have participated in the insurgency in Iraq have been arrested and indicted on federal terrorism charges in the Western District of Kentucky.
These were Iraqi insurgents who got into the US! So much for the security checks for refugees!
One of the things I find so interesting about this story and many others like it where an immigrant is arrested on terrorism charges, reporters (indeed even the Justice Department doesn’t mention it) never tell us through which LEGAL immigration program the alleged terrorist entered the US. Was he a refugee, an asylum seeker, a family reunification case, on a student visa, an E-2 treaty investor, or a diversity visa lottery winner, and the list goes on.
The average American reader, who knows little about how someone gets here legally— although you hear all the time the mindless words: “if he/she came here legally then that is o.k!”—isn’t ever informed about which program the terror-suspect used to get in. Or, indeed, if he came across the border illegally, which is still a possibility in this case.
Just last week I reported that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was whining about the slow flow of refugees to the US and one of the main reasons for the slowdown is increased security checks. I linked a piece by an immigration lawyer, Jason Dzubow, who also complained about increased security measures, here.
A couple of days ago when I told you about Attorney General Holder visiting Somalis in Minneapolis, I speculated also that something was up. I think Homeland Security knows they are sitting on a powder keg—legal immigrants or their offspring (refugees even!) may indeed be the greatest threat from so-called “home grown” terror planning.
Coincidentally, the pro-Open Borders Migration Policy Institute released a report just last week complaining also about how stepped up security measures were slowing the arrival of refugees to the US. Obama’s goal for this year was 80,000 refugees and possibly only 60,000 will get in. The report (which I haven’t mentioned because I haven’t had a chance to read it carefully) does address the Iraqi refugee security clearance checks. In a confusing section (on page 5) author Donald Kerwin (The Faltering US Refugee Protection System) reports that first Iraqis do have to get clearance through a SAO (Security Advisory Opinion), but then says they don’t have to have that clearance before they get a refugee interview.
Iraqi refugees do not have to receive SAO clearance prior to the USCIS refugee interview; all others subject to SAO procedures must be precleared.
Earlier Kerwin made this comment:
SAO delays have been an issue of particular concern to stakeholders in the refugee resettlement process.
Translated for readers this means: Refugee resettlement contractors (like the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) are ticked off that if security clearances become more burdensome, the flow of refugees will slow and they won’t get their taxpayer funding which is calculated on a per head resettled basis and consequently they might have to let staff go and they will have less money for political activism.
Only their resettlement contractor (or the State Department) knows for sure!
Which leads me to the fact that Bowling Green is a “preferred community” for refugee resettlement (resettlement contractors get extra federal goodies for bringing refugees there). That is our tip-off that possibly the two accused Iraqis were refugees resettled in Bowling Green by one of the federal refugee contractors, maybe even by USCRI of the revolving door (USCRI’s former VP is now head of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement!). There was much controversy about refugees in Bowling Green (another of those meatpacking towns the State Department likes to help out), here in 2009.
By the way, Iraqis presently top the list of the number of refugees we bring to the US. In 2010, here, we resettled over 18,000 Iraqis.
For new readers, this is our 492nd post on Iraqi refugees, go here to our archives to learn more!
* LOL! Where is Matthew Lee, the AP reporter who like clockwork at the end of the Bush Administration whined every month that we weren’t bringing Iraqis to the US fast enough. Search ‘Matthew Lee’ here at RRW for amusement.
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