WASHINGTON – As WND reported more than a week ago, the federal judge from Seattle who issued a halt to President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring entry to the U.S. by travelers from seven nations because of concerns over potential terror threats erred badly when he said there had been no arrest of foreign nationals from those countries since 9/11.
A new report shows that at least 72 such individuals have indeed been convicted of terrorism-related offenses.
Later, a review by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the order by federal Judge James Robart saying there was “no evidence” any of those nations had produced a terror threat to the U.S.
The nations designated by Trump’s order are Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia – now known as the “Trump 7.” Each, indeed, has produced at least one individual convicted of terror-related charges, according to a report by a Senate committee in 2016, no longer publicly available but obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies.
In a courtroom exchange that took place Friday, Feb. 3, with Department of Justice lawyer Michelle Bennett, federal Judge James L. Robart, asked, “How many arrests have there been of foreign nationals from those seven countries since 9/11”?
“I don’t know the specific details of attacks or planned attacks,” said Bennett, who is from the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.
“The answer to that is none, as best I can tell,” said the judge.
A preliminary report published by WND a day later showed Robart was clearly wrong – travelers and immigrants from the seven countries have indeed been involved in the murders of Americans and other heinous crimes.
“I’m not sure what this judge was thinking but he clearly wasn’t in touch with the facts when he issued his decision to block President Trump’s temporary block on travel from these seven countries,” said Leo Hohmann, author of the new investigative book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad.”
Hohmann pointed out that it’s not only terrorism that has been a problem with regard to the resettlement of Third World refugees. The number of sexual assaults is also mounting.
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“As I found in my research for ‘Stealth Invasion,’ many of the sexual assaults by refugees are covered up by local law enforcement and the media,” Hohmann said. “So we don’t know how many of these incidents have taken place, but we do know they are more common than what we hear or see reported in the media.”
The Trump administration chose the seven countries for the watch list because they were designated as essentially lawless nations by the Obama administration – those from which terrorists are known to be traveling to evade identification.
Trump’s executive order made this clear: “Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee-resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.”
Meanwhile, the new report, compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that at least 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s vetting executive order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks.
While the Obama administration refused to provide any government accounting of terror cases over the last eight years, in June 2016, the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases, using only open sources. The report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born.
The information compiled includes names of offenders, dates of conviction, terror group affiliation, federal criminal charges, sentence imposed, state of residence, and immigration history.
The Center for Immigration Studies has extracted information on 72 individuals named in the Senate report whose country of origin is one of the seven terror-associated countries included in the vetting executive order. The Senate researchers, relying primarily on media reports, were not able to obtain complete information on each convicted terrorist, so it is possible that more of the convicted terrorists are from these countries.
The United States has admitted terrorists from all of the seven dangerous countries.
According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror-prone countries. Three came in on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa.
At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens. Ten were lawful permanent residents, and four were illegal aliens.
These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it would harm the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.
Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money-laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles and unlawful possession of a machine gun.
Some opponents of the travel suspension have tried to claim that the Senate report was flawed because it included individuals who were not necessarily terrorists because they were convicted of crimes such as identity fraud and false statements. About a dozen individuals in the group from the seven terror-associated countries are in this category. Some are individuals who were arrested and convicted in the months following 9/11 for involvement in a fraudulent hazardous materials and commercial driver’s license scheme that was extremely worrisome to law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, although a direct link to the 9/11 plot was never claimed.
Interestingly, the Senate report does not mention others who have been convicted of other serious crimes, such as rape and murder.
All of this information was publicly available but often under-reported by major media, another claim made by Trump.
One very memorable case was that of Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who attacked and wounded 11 people on the campus of Ohio State University in November 2016. Artan was a Somalian who arrived in 2007 as a refugee.