Politics

FLASHBACK: ‘Dozens’ Of Terrorists May Have Entered U.S. As Refugees

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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A 2013 report in that FBI agents admitted potentially dozens of terrorist bombmakers were mistakenly admitted to the U.S. as war refugees is newly relevant in the wake of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris.

One of the Paris attackers exploited the refugee crisis by falsely claiming to be Syrian and using a fake Syrian passport to move through refugee camps until he reached France. His success has raised concerns about the Obama administration’s plan to bring in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees this year, especially regarding the vetting process.

When the FBI discovered two al-Qaida terrorists living in Kentucky in 2009, the agency launched a massive project that involved examining improvised explosive devices (IEDs) collected in war zones for fingerprints, ABC News reported in 2013. Those fingerprints were run against people who applied to resettle in the U.S. as refugees.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many more than that,” House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul told ABC News at the time. “And these are trained terrorists in the art of bombmaking that are inside the United States; and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me.”

The FBI assigned hundreds of agents to the project, and it also resulted in a suspension of Iraqi refugee resettlement program for six months by the State Department.

One of the terrorists, Waad Ramadan Alwan, had moved right through the refugee screening system to Bowling Green, Kentucky, although he had been detained by the Iraq government and confessed to insurgent activities in a 2006 video. He briefly held a job, but soon quit and began collecting welfare payments.

The FBI later matched his prints to an unexploded bomb in Iraq and launched a sting operation to bait Alwan into agreeing to ship arms to al-Qaida. He was willing and the FBI recorded him bragging about how many bombs he had made in Iraq and American soldiers he’d killed in Iraq with a sniper rifle.

He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The total failure of the refugee screening system in past years is relevant now more than ever, as a majority of Americans—and 31 state governors—are opposed to President Barack Obama’s plan to bring Syrian refugees into the United States. (RELATED: Poll: Most Americans Don’t Want Syrian Refugees In The United States)

Even without a refugee resettlement program, Syrians seem intent on finding a way into the United States. Honduras just detained five Syrian nationals with stolen Greek passports.

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