I do have sympathy for refugees fleeing war-torn regions; and for those seeking political asylum. Especially for Terps who have already risked their lives in service to our U.S. military and whose lives and those of their family members are at risk of retribution from anti-U.S. militants. I find it disgraceful and dishonorable for any of them to be left behind. Why should anyone ever side with the U.S. again when it lives up to a paper tiger reputation?
However, the need to set up and maintain a competent vetting process is real:
A suspected member of Islamic State accused of killing a police officer in Iraq was arrested Wednesday in Sacramento, where he had settled as a refugee and sought to obtain a green card, federal authorities said.
Authorities allege that Omar Ameen, 45, entered his hometown of Rawa, a city of about 20,000 on the Euphrates River, in June 2014 with a caravan of four Islamic State vehicles and opened fire on the officer’s home. The officer returned fire, and Ameen shot him while he was on the ground, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Ameen fled Iraq after the attack, authorities said, and settled in Sacramento as a refugee. He allegedly concealed his links to terrorism when he applied for refugee status, and again when he applied for a green card. Instead, authorities said, he claimed on his refugee application that his family was a target of violence in Iraq.
Authorities allege that Ameen belonged to Al Qaeda — and then Islamic State — since at least 2004, participating in terrorist activities that included helping plant roadside bombs, killing the officer in Rawa, robbing supply trucks and kidnapping drivers. At least eight witnesses have told the FBI — which has been investigating Ameen since 2016 — that Ameen and his family are affiliated with terrorist groups.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has been investigating Ameen since 2016 for suspected violations, including fraud and misuse of visa, permits and other documents.
In accordance with a 1934 treaty, Iraq has requested Ameen be extradited.
“Ameen has reportedly undertaken numerous acts of violence on behalf of these terrorist organizations, ranging from planting improvised explosive devices to the murder that is the subject of this extradition,” according to court documents.
According to court documents, Ameen has been a member of Al Qaeda and then ISIS since 2004. He was not known to have renounced membership in either group.
Ameen has reportedly undertaken numerous acts of violence on behalf of the terrorist organizations — everything from murder to planting IEDs, records show.
The FBI talked to Ameen, his father, brother and cousins, and they said he was a member of ISIS. They said it is common knowledge that Ameen was a main local figure in ISIS and was said to be one of five native Rawah families that helped found Al Quaeda in the region, according to the documents.
“One witness interviewed by the FBI states knowledge that the Ameen family home was an ISIS headquarters for Rawah. Another described Ameen as an ISIS commander,” court documents said.
Documents from the government of Iraq list a myriad of other offenses against Ameen: He became a financial officer for Al Qaeda in Al-Anbar and took control over the military leadership in all Western areas of Al-Qa’im and Rawah.
In 2006, Ameen launched an attack against he army headquarters in the Al Karabilah area, where he took soldiers as prisoners and executed them at the same time, the government document shows.
In his immigration application, Ameen said he was a trader in vegetables and was a truck driver in Iraq. He arrived in the U.S. in November 2014.
Ameen concealed his membership in terrorist groups when he applied for refugee status in the U.S. and later when he applied for a green card in the U.S., according to the Department of Justice.
If one slipped in due to inadequate vetting, how many other enemies of the United States have also arrived here, legally?
And then of course there was also this other news story:
A Brooklyn imam whose relatives were arrested in a raid of a New Mexico compound spoke out Thursday to combat rumors that have transformed what he described as a months-long family drama into allegations of terrorism.
Law enforcement officials raided the barren compound in northern New Mexico last week and found the body of a young boy and 11 hungry children, who officials said were clothed in filthy rags and living without running water or electricity.
They arrested the imam’s son, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, who was wanted since last year on suspicion of abducting his critically ill 3-year-old son, as well as four other adults who were with him. The imam confirmed Thursday that those adults were also family members.
The child’s body has not been identified, the Taos County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
All five adults have been charged with 11 counts of felony child abuse.
County authorities have alleged, without publicly releasing evidence, that the adults were training the children to carry out school shootings, and that the group subscribed to “extremist” Muslim beliefs.
Siraj Wahhaj, the Brooklyn imam, confirmed during an impromptu news conference on Thursday that he is the father of suspects Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40; Hujrah J. Wahhaj, 37; and Subhannah A. Wahhaj, 35. He said he also is the father-in-law of Lucas Allen Morten, 40, and Jany N. Leveille, 35, who also were suspects taken from the compound. All 11 children found on the compound are his grandchildren, two of them through his daughter-in-law’s previous marriage, Wahhaj said.
But he said he had no knowledge of the group’s intentions when they disappeared last December, and that they quickly “cut ties, not only with me, with their brothers and their sisters and their mother,” and that the family has had “no direct contact with any of them” since then.
Wahhaj said he was unaware of any political or religious beliefs, or violent intentions, that could have motivated his son and daughters’ disappearance.
“I don’t know what his thinking is, because to do something as extreme as this, it doesn’t make sense,” he said. The idea that his son was plotting school shootings “sounds crazy,” he added. “But I don’t know. I’m not making any judgments yet because we don’t know.”
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.