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Posted by Gregory Hoyt | Jan 25, 2020 | Featured, Homeland Security, Investigations, Law and Legal, Must Reads, News, Patrol DALLAS, TX- A recent apprehension of three identified al-Qaeda members in Dallas, Texas, have proved once again that greater scrutiny toward immigration practices is instrumental in keeping the United States safe. Authorities detained three Syrian nationals that managed to gain entry in the U.S. from Columbia by using falsified passports, according to the Colombian news agency RCN. From what the news agency reported, the three men apprehended were identified as Al Raefee, Tuameh Tuameh, and Al Harari Al Harari. The men were reported as being in custody with charges to follow regarding membership to a terrorist organization. Preliminary details allege that the men entered Columbia through Venezuela, where they then acquired Colombian residency paperwork, a government identification card, and a Colombian passport through illicit means. On Twitter, Journalist Luis Carlos Vélez released images of the three men’s faulty passports. On the post, it was noted that the trio allegedly crossed into Columbia by means of the La Guajira border crossing with Venezuela. At this time there’s no details as to how the men had gained entry into Venezuela, nor how long they remained there prior to arriving from Syria. Apparently, Vélez stated that the U.S. embassy identified the men detained as al-Qaeda terrorists when they were in the works of trying to procure visas, which is slightly at odds with the RCN report detailing they were arrested in Dallas, Texas. In order to board a flight into the United States from Columbia, you would already have to have attained a visa as that’s been in effect since April of 2001. Thus, if traveling by air they would have already been granted visas, but there’s a possibility that they entered the country through other means as well. Regardless of the men’s means of entry into the country, reports circulating concur that there were issues when American authorities reviewed the Syrian’s passports. According to RCN, none of the three passports carried identification numbers that aligned with the noted birthdates listed. All Columbian passports assign numbers relevant to a citizen’s birthdate when they are issued. The youngest of the three men detained was 45-years-old, yet the identification number indicated that he would have been closer to the age of 25. The three passports showed that they were all produced on the exact same day, all of which had a stamp of “La Guajira,” which is the Columbian state that borders Venezuela. Based upon the aforementioned, it’s believed that all three gained entry into Columbia via Venezuela. Another curious aspect about the phony documents was that all men were reportedly born in Cartagena, Colombia. It was reported that officials in Columbia were able to trace the falsified documents back to an illegal network within the country who are notorious for producing high-quality counterfeit identity documentation. The group linked to the forgeries have been enabling criminals to avoid arrest by way of these documents being produced. While news outlet RCN failed to provide citations from any government officials admitting the existence of the illegal network behind the travel documents, they did state that the entity has helped over 1,200 foreign citizens. The article noted that faux Columbian documents have been provided to the likes of Cubans, Afghans, Israelis, Iraqis, Chinese, Vietnamese, Africans, and Ecuadorians. What makes the possibility of the three men detained arriving from Venezuela prior to Columbia troublesome is that Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro has alleged ties with jihadist groups. While Maduro is typically painted as more of an ally to Hezbollah as opposed to al-Qaeda, the two terrorist organizations have collaborated when targeting the United States. One of the most notable joint endeavors between the two factions was their efforts that resulted in the attacks on September 11th, 2001. While the three Syrian men are reportedly in custody, their mere presence in the United States is a severe cause for alarm. Remember, on September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked 4 planes and orchestrated one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. Four of those terrorists came to the US on visas and then stayed after the expiration. There was no accurate method for tracking overstays or their whereabouts. Nearly two decades after terrorists exploited the U.S. government’s inadequate, more than 700,000 foreigners with expired visas remain at large in the country. The latest government figures, as reported by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), show 702,000 overstays in 2017. It has been almost 18 years since that horrific event and the government still hasn’t found a way to accurately and adequately track visa over stayers. According to a Judicial Watch report, they obtained Department of Homeland Security (DHS) figures in 2015 showing that 527,127 foreigners with expired visas remained in the country. Thousands of those are from nations with links to terrorism. Per that report, the breakdown is: 1,435 from Pakistan, 681 from Iraq, 564 from Iran, 440 from Syria, 219 from Yemen, 219 from Afghanistan and 56 from Libya. Following the 9/11 attack, Congress created the U.S. Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology system to track the entry and exit of foreign nationals by using electronically scanned fingerprints and photographs. Five years and $1 billion later, it still has serious flaws. The GAO has since published a report that said nearly half of the nation’s immigrants who are no longer here legally, entered the U.S. legally and overstayed their visas undetected. As stated by Judicial Watch: In the years that followed the government did little to improve what has developed into a dire national security disaster. In 2011 yet another federal auditconfirmed that the U.S. had lost track of millions who overstayed their visas and two years later the crisis intensified when DHS lost track of 266 dangerous foreigners with expired visas. The government determined that they “could pose a national security or public safety concerns,” according to the director of Homeland Security and Justice at the GAO. You read the correctly. The Department of Homeland Security lost track of 266 dangerous immigrants with expired visas. The latest GAO report shows that about 52.7 million nonimmigrant admissions to the U.S. through air or sea ports of entry were supposed to depart in fiscal year 2017. Part of the problem is that DHS relies on third-party departure data. This includes commercial carrier passenger manifests. In other words, the government is depending on airlines and cruise ships to help it enforce visa violations. Now, to make matters worse, we have presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren who plan to decriminalize improper border crossings and visa overstays. Liz Warren called the entire criminal justice system racist ‘from front to back.’ Last summer, she and other Democrat candidates for president introduced plans to decriminalize immigration, welcome more refugees and focus enforcement on only security threats. Her open borders approach is in stark contrast to the stance taken by the Trump administration. Warren, a Massachusetts senator, said the Trump administration’s harsh treatment of migrants, to include separating undocumented children and parents at the border, is based on a law known as Section 1325. It allows for criminal penalties for illegally entering the U.S. or entering legally and overstaying a visa. Warren wants to repeal the provision and indicated that she would use executive power to reduce its enforcement as president. She vowed that as president she would: So, to translate: Warren – and other Democrats running for president – want to allow anyone who wants to walk into this nation to do so with no consequences. She wants to give free admission to anyone and everyone. Given that she is in favor of free healthcare for those not here legally, her plan could get extremely expensive. This plan came in conjunction with President Trump’s announcement that he will take executive action on the 2020 U.S. Census to include a citizenship question in the population count. There are also credible indications that mass arrests of thousands of undocumented people are expected to begin Sunday, assuming sanctuary proponents don’t tip them all off first. Warren, like most of other Democratic hopefuls, refuses to grasp the concept that making an illegal action legal doesn’t make the inherent problems go away. Among the other aspects that she cannot grasp, the senator is just one of the crowd when it comes to accusing the current administration of atrocities that were actually perpetrated in the Obama years. Obama’s immigration shortcomings notwithstanding, Warren said she would create a Justice Department task force to investigate what she referred to as criminal abuses of immigrants by Trump administration officials. An excerpt from Bloomberg News states: Warren’s plan is merely political pandering. It is aimed at a growing pro-immigration constituency in the Democratic Party, the Latino community specifically. Warren is calling for the outlawing of private detention facilities and limiting detentions to people who pose a security or flight risk, who could be tracked and monitored with technology. She wants to end ‘warrantless’ arrests and instead focus on smuggling, trafficking and spotting counterfeit products. So, Warren’s plan does not fix the issues with the current issues of tracking visa overstays, it decriminalizes them. Not only will there be zero incentive under her plan for migrants to come into the country, there will be no incentive for them to remain on the abiding side of the law once they are here. This all comes at a time when we should be better protecting our country… not inviting in attacks. On Saturday, a former Secret Service, CIA officer issued a warning to police: Prepare for Iran sleeper cells to strike rural America. In the wake of growing tensions in the Middle East, the United States has made a deliberate strike against the most prolific state sponsor of terrorism. The killing of Iran’s Quds Force General, Qassem Soleimani, has sparked much debate across the aisle of whether or not this action is an act of war by President Trump. Regardless of where you stand, the act of terrorism has increased for months before the US response. The question is, is America ready for attacks in the homeland? As a country, we have been blinded by the possibility of a concentrated attack on US soil and many Americans, including our politicians, have forgotten the grim reality of 9/11 and not given our adversaries the respect they deserve. We have allowed our guard to be lowered with debates of human rights for open borders, disregarding threats on social media and handcuffing the hands of our law enforcement officers to protect and serve. Art Del Cueto, the Vice President of the National Border Patrol Union and President of the Arizona Border Patrol Union, touched on it this week: Del Cueto rightfully pointed out that the border opens us up to terrorists walking right into America. Furthermore, intelligence has shown that Iran has embedded terrorist sleeper cells within the US and was proven correct with the prosecution and conviction of Hezbollah operative Ali Kourani and Samer el-Debek in New York City. The new debate is not a matter of if an attack will happen, it’s a matter of when and where. The act of terrorism is instilling fear within your enemy with the goal of creating mass chaos amongst the people in order to gain leverage and weaken the will to fight back. As the administration ramps up our overseas presence to stand against this terrorist state, we need to do the same here at home. Targets are chosen through a calculated criteria with the ultimate goal of creating as much physical and emotional destruction as possible to gain the biggest headline. Conventional target cities like NYC, LA and DC are always on the radar, but with constant threats to those locations, have become harder to execute a successful campaign. Softer targets in the country seem more ideal for a successful operation. First responders in smaller cities need to be prepared with the reality that they are on the radar with locations such as malls, educational institutions, and event centers being prime targets with the substantial amount of people congregating. Due diligence of preparation needs to extend from Wall Street to Main Street; for the Iranian terrorist regime, nothing is off the table. We must take it upon ourselves as Americans to become harder targets. We must throw out the conventional fear of being socially and politically correct with identifying unusual activities and reporting it to the local authorities. We need to secure our border to reduce the amount of possible terrorists from entering. We need to understand that our government has failed us in protecting our homeland and force our politicians to secure our borders. We need to stand together to fight this enemy and understand that this war is not about political motives or social-economical righteousness. This war is deep rooted in cultural religious views between radical Islam and the western world, with the United States being the largest adversary against their movement. Peace is always the goal in every society, but peace cannot be accomplished by turning a blind eye to the threat and hoping it will go away. Peace comes from facing our adversaries and standing strong together, undivided. Editor note: Anthony Sabio is a 25 year veteran of public service in the U.S. Marine Corp Special Operations, US Secret Service and the Central Intelligence Agency, is a highly recognized consultant in intelligence and security policy. After spending a decade as a CIA officer with multiple tours in conflict zones directing and performing counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and counterintelligence operations, he left government service to share his expertise and technical advice to security organizations and media. Mr. Sabio is an acclaimed guest speaker at multiple security events and performs as a content adviser on world-wide security issues. Article online here. .
New York City defied a deportation request from ICE last year and released an illegal immigrant into the community — and now he stands accused of killing a 92-year-old woman beloved by her community. Reeaz Khan, 21, has been charged with murder and sexual abuse against someone incapable of consent. Police say they caught him initiating the attack on surveillance video. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says he never should have been out on the streets anyway, after he was arrested on weapons and assault charged last year, and ICE asked New York to turn him over. Police refused, under the city’s sanctuary policy, ICE says. “Clearly the politicians care more about criminal illegal aliens than the citizens they are elected to serve and protect,” ICE said in a statement revealing New York’s decisions. The agency said hundreds of illegal immigrants with criminal records are released onto the streets in New York each month in defiance of ICE requests. “It was a deadly choice to release a man on an active ICE detainer back onto the streets after his first arrest included assault and weapon charges, and he now faces new charges, including murder,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s deportation operations in New York. New York newspapers have detailed the grisly nature of the attack on 92-year-old Maria Fuertes, whom authorities said was out on the street checking garbage piles for recyclables the night of the attack. The New York Post called Mr. Khan, who is an illegal immigrant from Guyana, “twisted.” Article online here.