Less than a year after Judicial Watch reported on the terrorist ties of an African refugee living in Arizona, federal authorities in the Grand Canyon State have arrested two refugees from the same continent for conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. In both cases the terrorists entered the United States legally under an Obama era program that welcomed—and offered residency—to hundreds of thousands from Muslim countries notorious for terrorist activity. Also, in both instances the terrorists settled in Tucson, about 70 miles north of the Mexican border.
In the most recent case FBI agents from the Tucson Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested two Somalian men, 21-year-old Ahmed Mahad Mohamed and 20-year-old Abdi Yemani Hussein, after a months-long investigation. During the undercover probe the men “repeatedly demonstrated their allegiance and support for ISIS,” according to an FBI affidavit in support of a criminal complaint. Mohamed and Hussein also discussed their desire and plans to join ISIS overseas and purchased airline tickets from Tucson to Cairo, Egypt to join the terrorist group.
The affidavit includes online and personal communications between the suspects and undercover agents expressing their plan to behead non-believers of Islam like animals. “The best wakeup call is Islamic State to get victory or another 911,” according to one of Mohamed’s emails with an undercover agent. Hussein wrote that he wanted to blow up the White House and Tucson if anyone tries to stop him. Both men disclosed that they strived to be the most wanted terrorists in the world.
Incredibly, Mohamed and Hussein lived in the U.S. legally because they entered as refugees from Somalia, according to the FBI document. “At the time of their arrest, Mohamed had obtained lawful permanent resident status and Hussein remained a refugee,” according to a Justice Department statement that also reveals Mohamed and Hussein planned to conduct an attack within the United States if they were unable to travel to Sinai, an Egyptian peninsula that borders Israel and the Gaza Strip, to join ISIS. The State Department warns against travel to the region due to terrorism. “The Sinai Peninsula remains a particularly dangerous area, with frequent attacks on security forces and civilians,” the agency writes in its warning to American citizens. Planned travel to the area by two African young men welcomed as refugees by the U.S. rightfully caught the attention of federal authorities.
In a similar case out of Tucson last fall, an Ethiopian man granted refugee status by the Obama administration was later discovered to be a terrorist who lied to the government about his identity. The man, Mohamed Abdirahman Osman, and his wife, Zeinab Abdirahman Mohamed, lived in Tucson since Uncle Sam invited them into the country as refugees in 2014. Less than a year ago a grand jury indicted the couple for making false statements to a government agency and lying about the husband’s ties to the militant Somali group Al-Shabaab.
Osman used a fake Somalian passport to get to the U.S., according to the 11-count indictment, which charged the husband with eight crimes and the wife with three for helping him conceal his true identity. Osman and his wife fled to China and applied for refugee status with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer in Beijing using an alias. Documents submitted by the couple contained “false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements,” according to the indictment.
These two cases out of Tucson prove once again that there are gaping vulnerabilities in the refugee program. Judicial Watch has reported on this for years. In fact, back in 2011 Islamic terrorists— including two al Qaeda affiliates indicted in Kentucky—entered the United States legally through a refugee resettlement program. It was called the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), a joint venture between the State Department and USCIS to help tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable refugees start a new life in America each year. Most of the refugee referrals in USRAP are made by the notoriously corrupt United Nations, which has published an extensive handbook on the subject.
In 2016, an Iraqi refugee granted residency after coming to the U.S. as a teenager, was charged with supporting the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The once-displaced refugee, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, was 24 years old and lived in Houston, Texas. He tried to supply material support to ISIL and lied about his ties to the terrorist organization and his weapons training when applying to become a U.S. citizen, according to a federal indictment.
That was hardly an isolated incident. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) confirmed that individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria tried to infiltrate the U.S. through the Obama refugee program that admitted 10,000 Syrians. The agency that serves as the umbrella for the intelligence community also revealed the obvious, that “the refugee system, like all immigration programs, is vulnerable to exploitation from extremist groups seeking to send operatives to the West.”=