A man accused of violently assaulting an elderly volunteer worker with a machete outside a homeless shelter in Vermont earlier this month is the son of a Somali refugee, the Department of Homeland Security told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Abukar Ibrahim, a 32-year-old immigrant, assaulted 73-year-old Meals on Wheels volunteer Johanne LaGrange with a machete outside Harbor Place in Burlington, Vt., in early January after vandalizing vehicles and threatening other individuals nearby. Ibrahim “willfully, deliberately and with premeditation, and with intent to kill” assaulted his victim, Shelburne News reported, citing charges detailed in the court records.
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He then barricaded himself in a room for hours, reportedly threatening to slit the throats of the responding police officers. Ibrahim, who ultimately surrendered to authorities, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempted first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence. A local court judge has ordered that Ibrahim’s sanity be evaluated.
The violent incident in Vermont was widely reported by many different media outlets, but the attacker’s country of origin and immigration status were not included in the initial reports. Working with DHS, TheDCNF was able to obtain this information.
“DHS can confirm that Abukar Ibrahim is a foreign-born naturalized United States citizen who initially entered the United States as the derivative child of a Somali refugee,” a DHS spokesperson told TheDCNF, “This underscores the importance of enhancing the screening of individuals seeking admission to the U.S. as refugees to improve the safety and security of the American people.”
Ibrahim reportedly has a history of violence; he was involved in a domestic assault case late in 2017. A judge prohibited him from possessing any weaponry.
Before the attack on LaGrange, Ibrahim was reportedly banging on cars and smashing windows. He also threatened a man sitting in his vehicle.
“The suspect walked up to my vehicle asking me to open my window,” Alexander Siegel, a Howard Center case worker, told police, according to the Burlington Free Press.”I opened my window and he asked me ‘Are you scared?’ and other words that I could not understand,'” he added.
Ibrahim reportedly shattered Siegel’s back window before moving onto LaGrange’s vehicle.
The volunteer worker noticed the suspect beating on her car when she returned to collect pre-packaged meals for the less fortunate, and when she confronted him, he turned violent, slicing open her right calf with the machete.
Somalia is one of a handful of countries included in the Trump administration’s highly-contested travel ban for countries with a documented history of exporting violence.
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