Posted tagged ‘Citizenship’

A Terrorist and Naturalization Fraud

July 11, 2017

A Terrorist and Naturalization Fraud, Front Page MagazineMichael Cutler, July 11, 2017

On June 29, 2017 the Department of Justice issued a press releases, Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to Terrorists.

Numerous politicians have proposed legislation that would strip an American of his/her citizenship if that American attended terror training overseas or fought on the side of terrorist organizations.  This is entirely understandable and other countries have proposed similar laws be enacted.

Incredibly, in this case, this terrorist could have easily been stripped of his citizenship because he apparently acquired it by committing fraud in his naturalization application.

Yet, inexplicably, the federal prosecutors in this case failed to indict him for this crime even as they successfully charged him with other crimes relating to terrorism, for which he pleaded guilty. Adding this crime to his charges would have been a simple matter, indeed.

The “Ohio Man” was Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud a native of Somalia who, according to the information filed by federal prosecutors, entered the United States at the age of two.

The DOJ press release began with these two paragraphs:

Court records unsealed today reveal that Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 25, of Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty to all counts alleged against him regarding a terrorist plot.

A federal grand jury charged Mohamud in April 2015 with one count of attempting to provide and providing material support to terrorists, one count of attempting to provide and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization – namely, al-Nusrah Front – and one count of making false statements to the FBI involving international terrorism in an indictment returned in Columbus. Mohamud pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers on Aug. 14, 2015, and the plea was sealed because of an ongoing investigation.

According to the information provided in the press release and court documents (Revised Statement of Facts) filed on August 14, 2015 in the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, by federal prosecutors, the defendant did not become a naturalized citizen until 2014 when he was approximately 20 years of age.

Furthermore, the information contained in the documents made it clear that his motivation for becoming a United States citizen was not because of his love and respect for America but rather to enable him to acquire a U.S. passport to facilitate his travel to Syria to join his brother, Abdifatah Aden in fighting on the side of the al-Nusrah Front, a terrorist organization affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Lying on those applications constitutes fraud.  As stipulated in federal law, Title 18 U.S. Code § 1425 (Procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully) when this crime is committed in conjunction with terrorism, the punishment is a maximum prison sentence of 25 years, a greater penalty that he faces for lying to an FBI agent.

However, the greatest incentive for this additional charge goes well beyond increasing his possible period of incarceration.  By having Mohamud successfully prosecuted for this violation would result in his being stripped of his U.S. citizenship and consequently he would be subject to removal (deportation) from the United States.

This is of considerable importance considering that the DOJ press release reported:

According to a statement of facts supporting Mohamud’s guilty plea, while in Syria, Mohamud trained with al-Nusrah Front on fitness, and on the use of weapons and tactics. Mohamud also engaged in a firefight and expressed his desire to die fighting in Syria.

After his brother was killed while fighting for al-Nusrah Front, Mohamud returned to the U.S. According to the statement of facts, after returning to the U.S., Mohamud planned to obtain weapons in order to kill military officers or other government employees or people in uniform. Evidence seized by the FBI indicates that Mohamud researched places in the U.S. to carry out such plans.

Given that his goal, in returning to the United States, was to carry out terror attacks inside the United States, it is incomprehensible he was not charged with naturalization fraud to ultimately remove him from the United States upon completion of his prison sentence.

This excerpt from the previously noted Revised Statement of Facts provides clear and unequivocal evidence that the defendant procured United States citizenship unlawfully by concealing material facts in his application for U.S. citizenship:

1. Abdirahman Sheik MOHAMUD is a 23-year-old resident of Columbus, Ohio. MOHAMUD was born in Somalia but came to the United States (U.S.) when he was approximately two years old and became a naturalized U.S. citizen on February 18, 2014.

2. An overview of MOHAMUD’s criminal conduct is as follows:

3. In September of 2013, MOHAMUD sent his brother, Abdifatah ADEN, a private message praising his brother Abdifatah ADEN, who was fighting in Syria, for being a soldier and committing himself to join ADEN as a fellow foreign fighter.

4. From approximately January through April of 2014, MOHAMUD and ADEN coordinated MOHAMUD’s travel into Syria, planned MOHAMUD’s financial support for ADEN, and discussed MOHAMUD’s plans to obtain a communication device to provide to ADEN in support of terrorist activities. MOHAMUD’s planning included obtaining a U.S. passport and airline ticket, opening a bank account, gathering $1,000 of funds on ADEN’s behalf, and purchasing an internet-accessible device.

5. On February 18, 2014, MOHAMUD became a naturalized U.S. citizen. On February 25, 2014, MOHAMUD submitted a passport application to the U.S.

6. On April 8, 2014, MOHAMUD purchased a one-way ticket to Athens, Greece via Istanbul, Turkey.

7. MOHAMUD departed the U.S. on April 18, 2014 for the purpose of fighting in Syria and providing material support to the al-Nusrah Front (“al-Nusrah”), an organization that is designated by the U.S. Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). MOHAMUD did not fly to Athens, rather, he disembarked in Istanbul, Turkey and did not board his connecting flight. Around the time MOHAMUD departed the U.S., he knew ADEN was in Syria fighting with the terrorist organization al-Nusrah.

This case is far from unique.  There have been numerous instances of foreign terrorists applying for United States citizenship as an embedding tactic and also to enable them to acquire U.S. passports which facilitate their entry into other countries as they go about preparatory functions relating to training, planning and conducing surveillance of potential targets in the United States and abroad.

“For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.”  That statement appears in

Chapter 12 of the 9/11 Report under the subtitle, “What To Do?  A Global Strategy.”

For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons. Terrorists must travel clandestinely to meet, train, plan, case targets, and gain access to attack. To them, international travel presents great danger, because they must surface to pass through regulated channels, present themselves to border security officials, or attempt to circumvent inspection points.

In their travels, terrorists use evasive methods, such as altered and counterfeit passports and visas, specific travel methods and routes, liaisons with corrupt government officials, human smuggling networks, supportive travel agencies, and immigration and identity fraud. These can sometimes be detected.

Yet USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) a component agency of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), adjudicates hundreds of thousands of applications for United States citizenship via naturalization every year.  This only represents a small part of the more than 9 million applications filed annually for various immigration benefits.

This beleaguered agency and its employees are overwhelmed.  Immigration fraud is not a “victimless crime” as I noted in a recent paper, “Immigration Fraud: Lies That Kill – 9/11 Commission identified immigration fraud as a key embedding tactic of terrorists.”

Furthermore, when aliens apply for naturalization they are able to legally change their names and their U.S. passports only reflect their new names.  This enables criminals and terrorists to gain entry into countries that would bar them from entering under their original names but have no way of knowing that they have morphed into brand-new identities as U.S. citizens.  This not only threatens America’s security but the security of our allies.

I have raised this issue at congressional hearings and elsewhere, but to no avail.

As I noted in a previous article, Terrorists Value U.S. Citizenship More Than Our Politicians Do.

Additionally, in another article I included an excerpt from a May 19, 2015 New York Times article, In Osama bin Laden Library: Illuminati and Bob Woodward, that described what American commandos discovered when they raided bin Laden’s compound.

Here is that excerpt:

He (bin Laden) also appeared to have maintained a keen interest in what the United States government thought of Al Qaeda. A copy of ‘The 9/11 Commission Report’ was found in the compound in Abbottabad, as were three reports on Al Qaeda by the Congressional Research Service. There was also an application for American citizenship (no word on whether it was filled out).

Clearly bin Laden had an interest in our immigration system.

Numerous terror suspects, to this day, have sought U.S. citizenship as an integral part of their strategies to move freely around the world in preparation for carrying out deadly attacks.

Criminal violations of our immigration laws must not be ignored but prosecuted aggressively to protect America and its citizens especially, in cases involving terrorists.

DHS rushing faulty citizenship system that could miss ‘national security threats’: IG

January 24, 2017

DHS rushing faulty citizenship system that could miss ‘national security threats’: IG, Washington Times

(President Trump’s new Director of Homeland Security seems likely to fix that problem as well as many others promptly. — DM)

The government’s new system that grants citizenship has “alarming” security breaches, including allowing immigrants to be approved without a full FBI background check, the Homeland Security inspector general said Monday in an “urgent” warning telling the government to put everything on hold.

Inspector General John Roth said he got wind  that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was about to take the troubled system online later this month, and said he was compelled to issue the extraordinary alert to try to prevent a massive mistake.

He said that as of Jan. 11, about 175 citizenship applications were approved despite never having completed the background checks.

“Without sufficient vetting, immigrants could potentially be granted U.S. citizenship although they are ineligible or pose national security threats,” Mr. Roth said in his alert.

He first made his appeal to USCIS on Jan. 19, the day before the change in administrations. He released his public “urgent” appeal at noon Monday.

Mr. Roth said after the agency was alerted to the 175 applications it had wrongly approved, it started to redo them.

Dubbed ELIS, or the Electronic Immigration System, the new process was deployed last April, and quickly ran into problems.

The inspector general said it failed to make “core” checks it was required to make, kept canceling applicants’ appointments and ruined the workflow, forcing officers to end up processing applications manually anyway.

The entire system was halted last year as the problems became clear.

Mr. Roth said USCIS was prematurely rushing to get it back up and running this month.

He’d planned to issue a full report later in the year, but said USCIS’s moved forced him to issue his immediate warning.

“Although we are only in the beginning phases of our review, we have already identified significant operational and security issues that pose grave concern,” Mr. Roth said.

USCIS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the new warning.

But an internal email obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte last year showed how deep the concerns ran.

“At this point we are not confident that proper FBI Name Checks have been run on certain ELIS cases. At this point we are uncertain of the scope of the problem,” Daniel M. Renaud, USCIS associate director, said in an email.

Mr. Goodlatte demanded answers on when USCIS learned of the problem and how many cases it affected.

He said the agency should move to strip citizenship from anyone who was wrongly approved.

Email shows federal immigration bosses in OT push to swear in new citizens ‘due to election’

September 22, 2016

Email shows federal immigration bosses in OT push to swear in new citizens ‘due to election’, Fox News, , September 22, 2016

694940094001_5137149761001_hundreds-of-immigrants-mistakenly-granted-citizenshipHundreds of immigrants mistakenly granted citizenship

The all-out push shows the Obama administration is using levers to help Clinton win, said Dan Stein, president of Federation for American Immigration Reform.

“In the pursuit of a partisan advantage, one party has decided integrity in the system is irrelevant,” Stein said. “They don’t really care about checking backgrounds or verifying status and eligibility – it is more about increasing the number of eligible voters in the upcoming election.”

**********************

An internal Obama administration email shows immigration officials may be literally working overtime to swear in as many new “citizen voters” as possible before the Nov. 8 presidential election, a powerful lawmaker charged Thursday.

The email, from a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office chief and part of a chain of correspondence within the agency, urges the unnamed recipient to swear in as many citizens as possible “due to the election year.”

“The Field Office due to the election year needs to process as many of their N-400 cases as possible between now and FY 2016,” reads the email, which was disclosed to FoxNews.com by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who chairs the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

“If you have cases in this category or other pending, you are encouraged to take advantage of the OT if you can,” the email continues. “This will be an opportunity to move your pending naturalization cases. If you have not volunteered for OT, please consider and let me know if you are interested.”

Parts of the email were redacted before it was disclosed to FoxNews.com, but it was sent by the branch chief of the Houston Field Office District 17. It was not clear to whom it was addressed.

“I couldn’t have said it better!” reads the July 21 note introducing the forwarded missive. “It’s the end of the year crunch time, so let’s get crunchy! Go Team Houston! Thanks for all your hard work!”

Johnson and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in a Wednesday letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, said it appears the agency is trying to swear in new citizens as the election between Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton and GOP choice Donald Trump approaches.

“Your department seems intent on approving as many naturalization cases as quickly as possible at a time when it should instead be putting on the brakes and reviewing past adjudications,” the senator’s letter read.

Johnson referred to a report this week from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General that found at least 858 people from terror hotspots and other countries of concern had been mistakenly granted citizenship despite facing orders of deportation under other identities.

“Considering that USCIS already has a troubling record of inadequate review of naturalization applications, and mistakenly giving away citizenship to terrorists, criminals and other fraudsters, it is disturbing that they are now in full and blind rubber stamp mode to crank out new citizens,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.

In a USCIS planning document submitted to Congress earlier this year, USCIS reported it expected to receive 828,000 total applications this year, up from a planned 815,000 last year, an increase of 13,000, Vaughan said.

A DHS official did not immediately offer comment on the matter.

The effort is reminiscent of a similar bid to bring in new voters when Bill Clinton ran for re-election in 1996, said Claude Arnold, a retired U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations.

“I am not at all surprised by this revelation,” Arnold said. “This is a repeat of the Clinton election playbook. Then it was to help re-elect Bill Clinton, this time it is to help elect Hillary Clinton.”

The all-out push shows the Obama administration is using levers to help Clinton win, said Dan Stein, president of Federation for American Immigration Reform.

“In the pursuit of a partisan advantage, one party has decided integrity in the system is irrelevant,” Stein said. “They don’t really care about checking backgrounds or verifying status and eligibility – it is more about increasing the number of eligible voters in the upcoming election.”