Another chink in the American national security armor
America’s homeland security amnesia never ceases to amaze. In the aftermath of the botched Times Square terror attack over the weekend, Pakistani-born bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad’s U.S. citizenship status caused a bit of shock and awe. The Atlantic magazine writer Jeffrey Goldberg’s response was typical: “I am struck by the fact that he is a naturalized American citizen, not a recent or temporary visitor.” Well, wake up and smell the deadly deception.
Shahzad’s path to American citizenship — he reportedly married an American woman, Huma Mian, in 2008 after spending a decade in the country on foreign student and employment visas — is a tried-and-true terror formula. Jihadists have been gaming the sham marriage racket with impunity for years. And immigration benefit fraud has provided invaluable cover and aid for U.S.-based Islamic plotters, including many other operatives planning attacks on New York City. As I’ve reported previously:
– El Sayyid A. Nosair wed Karen Ann Mills Sweeney to avoid deportation for overstaying his visa. He acquired U.S. citizenship, allowing him to remain in the country, and was later convicted for conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that claimed six lives.
– Ali Mohamed became an American citizen after marrying a woman he met on a plane trip from Egypt to New York. Recently divorced, Linda Lee Sanchez wed Mohamed in Reno, Nev., after a six-week “courtship.” Mohamed became a top aide to Osama bin Laden and was later convicted for his role in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Africa that killed 12 Americans and more than 200 others.
– Embassy bombing plotter Khalid Abu al Dahab obtained citizenship after marrying three different American women.
– Embassy bombing plotter Wadih el Hage, Osama bin Laden’s personal secretary, married April Ray in 1985 and became a naturalized citizen in 1989. Ray knew of her husband’s employment with bin Laden, but like many of these women in bogus marriages, she pleaded ignorance about the nature of her husband’s work. El Hage, she says, was a sweet man, and bin Laden “was a great boss.”
– Lebanon-born Chawki Youssef Hammoud, convicted in a Hezbollah cigarette-smuggling operation based out of Charlotte, N.C., married American citizen Jessica Fortune for a green card to remain in the country.
– Hammoud’s brother, Mohammed Hammoud, married three different American women. After arriving in the United States on a counterfeit visa, being ordered deported and filing an appeal, he wed Sabina Edwards to gain a green card. Federal immigration officials refused to award him legal status after this first marriage was deemed bogus in 1994. Undaunted, he married Jessica Wedel in May 1997 and, while still wed to her, paid Angela Tsioumas (already married to someone else, too) to marry him in Detroit. The Tsioumas union netted Mohammed Hammoud temporary legal residence to operate the terror cash scam. He was later convicted on 16 counts that included providing material support to Hezbollah.
– A total of eight Middle Eastern men who plotted to bomb New York landmarks in 1993 — Fadil Abdelgani, Amir Abdelgani, Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, Tarig Elhassan, Abdo Mohammed Haggag, Fares Khallafalla, Mohammed Saleh, and Matarawy Mohammed Said Saleh — all obtained legal permanent residence by marrying American citizens.
I have been saying it for years that our enemy isn't stupid. They're incredibly cagey; shrewd to exploit the legal loopholes that we have in America. Originally, people believed the worst that could happen is these people would over-stay their visas (either authentic or forged), and simple avoid law enforcement while they plotted and planned attacks on the West; America, specifically. And, of course, they have CAIR to fall back on should they get caught, and utilize their team of litigators to avoid deportation or prosecution.
Take note of each person Ms. Malkin lists above. They are only convicted of their crimes AFTER they've evaded law enforcement for a lengthy amount of time. Instead of being thrown out of America for their fraudulent, sham marriages, they're afforded rights that should only be extended to US citizens. "OH, you can't throw Jibril out of America; he's married to a US citizen." Horse hockey, throw them out. Send them home.
Shahzad was moments away from escaping after he planted his Nissan Pathfinder bomb in Times Square. Barry and his team of incompetent "experts" are claiming they had him the whole time. They knew about him, they claim, which is proved by the fact they nabbed him on a plane that was destined for Dubai. BS, folks. The system failed, again, and this guy almost got away. Granted, his bomb wasn't exactly the most sophisticated sort, nor was it constructed competently. But if we're patting ourselves on the back that this bomb didn't do what it was "designed" to do, then we seriously need a reality check. At least the administration does.
Remember that in 1993, al Qaeda tried to bring down the World Trade Center. They failed to do so, but their efforts did kill six people, and wounded hundreds. Just eight short years later they accomplished their task, and killed nearly 3000 people. What's the lesson here?
Our enemy doesn't give up, folks. They never have, and likely they never will until they accomplish their goals. I'm just happy to let al Qaeda know that, despite the general incompetence of this administration, America isn't giving up, either, and we will be there to stop their murderous reign of terror.
Serious reform needs to be made to repair this chink in our national security armor. Ms. Malkin takes note of at least one lawmaker who is trying to enact some level of reform. Senator Joe Lieberman is sponsoring a bill to strip any American citizen of their citizenship should they join, or work to assist, any foreign terrorist group:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is planning to introduce a bill that would allow the government to take away citizenship from Americans who join foreign terrorist organizations.
The proposal would amend current law that bars American citizens from fighting for foreign armies at the price of losing their citizenship.
“I think it’s time for us to look at whether we want to amend that law to apply it to American citizens who choose to become affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations, whether they should not also be deprived automatically of their citizenship and therefore be deprived of rights that come with that citizenship when they are apprehended and charged with a terrorist act,” Lieberman, who helms the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on Fox News.
I know, I know. A lot of people made a hullabaloo about another piece of legislation that Senator Lieberman, with the assistance of Senator John McCain, sponsored recently. (Spare me the comments, folks. The bill doesn't do what most people think it does. The knee-jerk "watchdogs" forget one simple rule about law in America: NO ACT of Congress may trump the US Constitution unless it's an amendment to the Constitution, and you still need three-fourths of the States to approve of that amendment.) But Senator Lieberman is right to bring this sort of reform to the Congress to vote on. It's clear our enemy has adopted a new strategy to exploit the chinks in our national security armor.
This is a lesson we seem to be slow to learn. Our enemy isn't simply going to give up and go away. They're going to keep gunning for us, and they'll exploit any weakness we have. It's high time we fix these weakened areas of our nations armor lest we wish to see another 9-11-esque attack on our soil. As for the administration, their track record on keeping this nation safe isn't exactly stellar. After fifteen months of being in office, Barry and his cronies have dropped the ball four times -- the attack on the Army recruiting office in Little Rock, the attack on Fort Hood, the Christmas Day underwear bomber, and now the Times Square jihadi. Four attempts, two successes, and two dodged bullets. Batting .500 isn't a great stat, especially when we're talking about this war. Lady Luck will only buy you success for so long before she turns on you.
We don't need an administration that's lucky. We need one that's competent, and takes it's primary job -- protecting America -- seriously. And it's clear to me these fools in DC aren't taking anything having to do with this war seriously.