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Tag: refugees

FBI Investigating More than 300 Refugees for Potential Terrorist, AG Sessions Says

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

To justify the latest travel ban involving Muslim countries, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke Monday about the potential terror threat some refugees in the U.S. pose.

“[M]ore than 300 people who came here as refugees are under FBI investigation for potential terrorism-related activities,” Sessions said, according to CBS News.

He also said that those who are “seeking to support or commit terrorist attacks here will try to enter through our refugee program.”

Jeff Pegues of CBS noted in a website story that the officials will not say what countries these refugees came from,  when they came to the U.S. or if their legal status changed since arriving here.

Syrian Refugees Alarmed by Recent Calls from FBI

fbi-hq-signBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Syrian refugees in New Jersey are alarmed by phone calls they are receiving from the FBI.

The immigrants have declined to meet with the FBI because of their fear of law enforcement, NJ Spotlight reports. 

But FBI officials said the refugees have nothing to worry about.

There is “nothing covert about what we’re doing in this operation,” said special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Newark, Timothy Gallagher. “When they’re ready to sit down, we’d be happy to sit down. This is outreach. This is not surveillance.” 

Refugees are afraid of contact with federal law enforcement, immigrant advocates said.

“They come from a police dictatorship where speaking to government agencies can make people disappear, sometimes for years, so they’re definitely very afraid,” said Mohamed Khairullah, a Syrian-American and the mayor of Prospect Park, NJ.

In Syria, refuges often had bad encounters with law enforcement.

FBI Investigates Bomb Threats to Refugee Community Center for Muslims

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating threats to “blow up” a refugee community center that predominately serves Muslim immigrants.

Police said anonymous, threatening notes were found at the Denver-area center, Reuters reports.

The typewritten notes were left in the parking lot and stairwell of the Mango House. Both letters had the same message: WE’RE GONNA BLOW UP ALL OF YOU REFUGEES.”

The threats come as President Trump is banning people from traveling to the U.S. from seven predominately Muslim countries.

The refugee center in Aurora was evacuated, but no signs of suspicious devices were found.

“This is an ongoing investigation and is a top priority for us,” police spokesman Sergeant Chris Amsler said.  “We don’t tolerate that type of thing in the city of Aurora.”

FBI Arrests 2 Men Accused of Fighting in Syria for ISIS, Arrested on Terrorism Charges

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Syrian refugee was among two people arrested for having alleged ties with ISIS, the Daily Mail reports. 

The men are accused of trying to assist terrorist organizations affiliated with ISIS.

Omar Faraj Saeed Al Harden, 24, of Houston, was indicted on three charges of trying to provide material support to ISIS.

Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, of Sacramento,is accused of traveling to Syria to fight in Syria. Authorities said Al-Jayab came to the U.S. as a refugee from Syria.

Authorities said there was no evidence that either men planned an attack in the U.S., but they are considered potentially dangerous.

‘This is precisely why I called for a halt to refugees entering the U.S. from countries substantially controlled by terrorists,’ Abbott said in a statement.

‘I once again urge the President to halt the resettlement of these refugees in the United States until there is an effective vetting process that will ensure refugees do not compromise the safety of Americans and Texans.’

Homeland Security Chief: Syrian Refugees Face Strong Scrutiny to Cross Border

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told NPR that the fears over Syrian refugees are overstated, suggesting the focus should be on people traveling as tourists from Europe.

Johnson is restricting the visa waiver program because most of the suspects in the Paris attacks were legal residents of European countries and were not Syrian refugees.

For example, anyone who previously visited “terrorist safe havens” would be denied visa-free travel.

“What we want to do is work with Congress in ways that are effective to improve homeland security,” Johnson said. “The refugee program as it is currently exists is probably the most thorough, multilayered, time-consuming way for anyone to cross our borders, to come into this country.”

Other Stories of Interest

Lawmakers Demand Guarantees to Prevent Terrorists from Slipping into U.S. As Refugees

Syria mapBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. officials sought to assure skeptics that refugees settling in the U.S. are properly vetted to ensure terrorists don’t slip through.

MassLive reports that federal officials said the process involves in-person interviews and a myriad of other security checks by Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State.

Lawmakers have expressed concern about how refugees from Syria and Iraq are vetted and want guarantees that “would in essence stop the relocations of refugees,” MassLive wrote.

Concerns have been heightened following the Paris attacks.

Homeland Security Chair Warns about Dangers of Hosting Syrian Refugees

Syria mapBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Should the U.S. host refugees who are fleeing Syria?

U.S. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul is cautioning against it, saying the refugees present a threat to national security, TownHall.com reports.

“We’re a compassionate nation and this is a tragic situation but I also have to be concerned as Chairman of Homeland Security about the safety of Americans in this country and the concern that I have and that the FBI testified to is that we don’t really have the proper databases on these individuals to vet them passed and to assure we’re not allowing terrorists to come into this country and until I have that assurance, I cannot support a program that could potentially bring jihadists into the United States,” Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Michael McCaul said in an interview with Fox News Monday. “We don’t know who these people are and I think that’s the bottom line here and until we know who they are, we cannot responsibly bring them into the United States.”

“Both the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have told me privately that they don’t support bringing in Syrian refugees because of the threat they pose to Americans,” McCaul added.

McCaul said he hasn’t heard how President Obama plans to address the issue.

Some European countries are offering to take refugees, but nations in the Middle East are not.