Following the terrorist attacks in New York City and Minnesota, the national debate has again shifted to U.S. immigration weaknesses.
NEW YORK CITY, New York — In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Minnesota during the weekend, the focus of the national debate has again shifted back to America’s enemies exploiting weaknesses in U.S. immigration screening processes to get into the country to attack the United States.
While President Barack Obama’s administration, and his would-be successor, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, have promised to increase the amount of people they bring into the United States through immigration, refugee, and asylum programs, the Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has promised to put the brakes on allowing potential terrorists into the United States.
Below is a by-no-means comprehensive list of at least ten times in the last couple years—there are certainly many more instances—that terrorists have exploited the Obama-Clinton immigration weaknesses to get into the United States. This is the first in a series of stories that will examine specific examples on this front.
1.) Eritrean Plans Terror in Ohio
Twenty-one-year-old Munir Abdulkader of West Chester, Ohio, pleads guilty, according to the Department of Justice, “to attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.”
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Abdulkader is a “native of Eritrea in east Africa,” who “became a citizen of the United States in September 2006.”
He hit law enforcement’s radar while a student at Xavier University in Cincinnati when he was posting messages on Twitter that the Columbus Dispatch said were “seen as sympathetic to Islamic State fighters.”
“On a Twitter account that began in July 2014 and continued into 2015, Abdulkader posted an IS training video, lamented that his cousin had died fighting for IS and expressed his desire to travel and join the terrorist insurgency,” James Steinbauer wrote in the Columbus Dispatch in July. He added:
Abdulkader also stated his wish to attain martyrdom. From March to mid-April 2015, Abdulkader began speaking with a confidential source about his intentions to travel to Syria and fight for the insurgency. He secured a passport, saved money for the trip and began making travel plans, but postponed the trip until May 2015 because of increased arrests of individuals traveling to join IS. During May 2015, Abdulkader communicated with one or more people overseas who were tied to IS. One, a member of IS identified as Junaid Hussein, encouraged Abdulkader to commit terrorist attacks in the United States before going to Syria. IS has advocated for lone-wolf jihadis and extremists to conduct attacks in their home countries.
In his communications with Hussein, the Islamic State recruiter encouraged the Eritrean immigrant—according to the Justice Department—“to plan and execute a violent attack within the United States.”
“Abdulkader communicated with Hussein and the CHS [confidential human source] about a plan to kill an identified military employee on account of his position with the U.S. government,” the Justice Department said in a press release. “The plan included abducting the employee at the employee’s home and filming the execution. After killing the employee, Abdulkader planned to perpetrate a violent attack on a police station in the Southern District of Ohio using firearms and Molotov cocktails.”
None of this would have been possible if the United States government had not let this Eritrean man into the United States in the first place.
2.) Virginia Man? Not Quite.
Also back in July, The Washington Post’s Rachel Weiner and Joe Helm detailed the story of Mohamed Bailor Jalloh—an immigrant from Sierra Leone—who was caught plotting a terrorist attack in support of the Islamic State in Virginia.
“When Mohamed Bailor Jalloh walked into the Blue Ridge Arsenal gun store and indoor target range in Chantilly, Va., on Friday to purchase a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, he had no idea that his every move was being monitored by the FBI,” Weiner and Helm wrote on July 5. “Jalloh, 26, spent about 10 minutes in the shop before attempting to buy the assault weapon, but he was told that he did not have the required three forms of identification to make the purchase, said Earl Curtis, the store’s owner. Jalloh told employees that he would return.”
Jalloh had apparently been a former member of the Virginia National Guard—and that was how The Washington Post’s headline identified him. What the leading newspaper did not say until 16 paragraphs into the article is that Jalloh is not from the United States.
“Jalloh, a native of Sierra Leone, is a U.S. citizen,” the Post wrote.
That’s all the nation’s capitol’s major newspaper said in that story about his immigration history.
According to Justice Department documents, Jalloh was born in Sierra Leone—a West African nation that is predominantly Muslim—and actually after becoming naturalized later as a U.S. citizen traveled back to Sierra Leone in 2015. In addition to disclosing that he listened to lectures from Anwar Al-Awlaki, Jalloh—according to court records available of the Department of Justice’s website—told a confidential human source for federal law enforcement he is “originally from Sierra Leone and has been a Muslim his entire life.” During his trip back to his home nation of Sierra Leone, federal authorities—according to the court records—believed he had contact with representatives for the Islamic State. He was gone for months.
“A review of U.S. Customs and Border Protection travel records indicated JALLOH departed the United States on or about June 11, 2015 via John F. Kennedy International Airport with a final destination of Sierra Leone,” the court document, filed by an FBI agent, says, continuing:
On or about January 16, 2016, JALLOH returned to the United States from Sierra Leone via John F. Kennedy International Airport. Based on the length of time JALLOH was overseas for this trip and the comments made by JALLOH to CHS1 [confidential human source number one] on or about April 9, 2016, I believe it was during this overseas trip that JALLOH met ISIL members in Nigeria and first established contact with UCCl [un-indicted co-conspirator number one].
But it all started, of course, when the U.S. government decided to let this guy into the United States in the first place.
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