The United States is at war with international terrorists, who, as the 9/11 Commission noted, must first enter the United States in order to attack it.
Consider the preface of the official government report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel: Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” that begins with the following paragraph:
It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
Furthermore, although much has been made of the lack of integrity with respect to the U.S./Mexican border, the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel observed that most terrorists had entered the United States through international airports and then committed visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud to embed themselves in the country.
Page 54 of the report contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot,” which makes these issues crystal clear:
Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.
In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.
Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
On Saturday September 17, 2016 terror attacks put international terrorism and immigration on the front page of newspapers across the United States and onto the “A Block” of television news programs.
On the morning of that last Saturday of summer, a bomb hidden in a garbage can detonated along the route of the “Seaside Semper Five,” a five-kilometer run and charity event along the South Jersey Shore waterfront to raise money for members of the United States Marine Corps and their families. Fortunately, because the crowds were much greater than expected, the event was late in starting and so no one was injured.
On that Saturday evening, a bomb, constructed in part of a pressure-cooker, exploded in a dumpster in the Chelsea section of Manhattan where it had apparently been planted. Shortly after the explosion rocked that trendy neighborhood of Manhattan a second bomb of similar construction was discovered just blocks away.
Both of these bombings and that third, unexploded bomb have been attributed to Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized United States citizen who legally immigrated to the United States from his native Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, on that same Saturday evening, in Minnesota, allegedly Dahir Adan, an immigrant from Kenya, went on a violent rampage in the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud, stabbing 9 innocent people. His rampage ended when a police officer, Jason Falconer, confronted him. Adan lunged at Officer Falconer who fired in self-defense, undoubtedly preventing a far worse attack.
According to an article published on September 19, 2016 in a local newspaper, the Star Tribune, during the attack Adan was wearing a security guard uniform and asked at least one of the victims if he was a Muslim. Additionally, Adan was reported to have referred to Allah during the attack.
News reports assert he was 22 years old and beginning his third year at St. Cloud State University and was a member of the tight-knit Somalian immigrant community.
Information about the identity of this apparent terrorist was not provided by law enforcement authorities, but by his father who claimed that his son came to the United States some 15 years ago.
Aliens who enter the United States surreptitiously without inspection could be said to have entered the United States through America’s “back door.” Most terrorists, however, enter the United States through America’s front doors located at the 325 ports of entry that are operated by CBP (Customs and Border Protection).
Both Ahmad Khan Rahami and Dahir Adan were admitted into the United States through America’s “front door.”
Given the severity of the threats America and Americans face and the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission it is incomprehensible that the failures of the lawful entry system and the systems by which applications for lawful status are adjudicated would face extreme scrutiny with the goal of insuring that these systems have real integrity. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Politicians from both political parties have repeatedly called for providing lawful status for unknown millions of illegal aliens whose true identities, backgrounds and possible affiliations with criminal or terrorist organizations are unknown and unknowable. There would be no way to interview millions of such aliens and certainly no way to conduct any field investigations. This would create an open invitation to massive levels of fraud.
Should any doubt remain about the abject lack of integrity in the adjudications process, consider that on September 19, 2016 Fox News reported, “Watchdog: Feds wrongly granted citizenship to hundreds facing deportation” that focused on the findings of the Office of Inspector General for the DHS concerning how hundreds of aliens facing removal deportation had, instead, been granted United States citizenship. These aliens were originally from countries identified as being “Special Interest Countries”- that is to say that these countries are associated with terrorism.
The report noted that of those who were able to game the naturalization process, some went on to acquire jobs, including in law enforcement where U.S. citizenship is a pre-requisite.
Not long ago I wrote an article about a naturalized Somali immigrant who had “made it” to the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists List.” The title of my piece was, “The Immigration Factor –Naturalized U.S. Citizen Added to FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List.”
The FBI is greatly concerned about this individual who is charged with providing material support and resources to al Qaeda and al Shabaab, a Somali-based terrorist organization. Additionally, he had worked as a cab driver in Washington, DC and has an intimate knowledge of DC’s infrastructure and government buildings.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to admit Syrian refugees who, according to FBI Director, James Comey, cannot be vetted. Hillary Clinton wants to increase the number of such refugees admitted into the United States by more than 500%.
Clinton wants to provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with lawful status which would require that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to adjudicate all of these applications.
USCIS is the division of the DHS that is charged with adjudicating all of those applications for various immigration benefits including granting political asylum and conferring United States citizenship upon aliens. This is the very same inept and and incompetent agency that naturalized hundreds of deportable aliens.
Repeatedly Hillary and her open borders / anarchist accomplices have invoked the issue of “compassion” to justify admitting huge numbers of refugees who cannot be vetted and providing illegal aliens who entered the United States covertly with lawful status, even though there would be no way to verify their identities, backgrounds, affiliations with criminal or terrorist organizations or even determine when they actually entered the United States.
Terrorists have come to see in our compassion vulnerabilities they can exploit and use against us.
The report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel – Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.” included this paragraph:
“Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.” Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.
It is time for our government to secure our borders, enforce our immigration laws and disarm the terrorists who would kill our citizens and destroy our nation by depriving them the opportunities to enter the United States and embed themselves throughout our country.
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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.