Another refugee security breach revealed

Busy day with dangerous “refugees” slipping through security screening.  See Iraqis arrested in Kentucky, here.  Then head over to Lawrenceville, Georgia for a guilty plea in the case of a Serbian war criminal who got into the US as a refugee.

From the Lilburn-Mountain Park Patch:

They simply took his word for it!

A 48-year-old Lawrenceville man who served in the Serbian paramilitary police during the 1992-95 Bosnian War pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to immigration officials about his background, the U.S. Justice Department said in a news release.

Zeljko Zekic had filed paperwork saying that he was unemployed and living in the Serbian Republic, disguising his true role in the conflict under accused war ciminal Ratko Mladic, according to the release.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates charged that Zekic and his family applied for refugee status in the United States in 2002 and eventually were allowed to move here based on the false information. Zekic later received a green card and is now a permanent resident alien, according to the release.

Later research by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit determined Zekic had lied about his background. According to the release, Zekic was a master sergeant with a police force inside a Serbian-controlled Bosnian town during the entire conflict.

Because of war crimes committed during the conflict, all adult male Serbs who had lived in Bosnia during that time and sought U.S. refugee status were checked for any connection to Republic of Serbia Army units. Zekic’s false statements prevented a proper background investigation at the time he applied for refugee status, the Justice Department said.

Unbelievable.  How did his lies prevent a thorough security check?

Here is the FBI press release on the case.  I had hoped they would tell us what tipped them off to do the security check now that should have been done BEFORE he was resettled, but I don’t see it.

The Volokh Conspiracy wants answers!

So do we all!

Update June 2nd:  AP has more on the fingerprint screw-up, here.

The Volokh Conspiracy is a blog comprised of mostly law professors and they are asking some very good questions about how the Iraqi refugees accused of terrorism in Kentucky managed to slip through the cracks.   Read our two posts this morning here and here first.

Questions about Iraqi arrests and domestic terrorism:

The most important is: What went wrong in the vetting of these two refugee applicants? Were there clues in the terrorist-refugees’ background that we failed to pick up on? Did they use forged documents to win refugee status? Were they aided by Iraqi terror groups to enter the United States? And why did the DHS fingerprint program fail? The FBI was able to match one refugee’s latent fingerprints to DOD’s records from a 2005 IED bombing, but it did that in 2011, as part of a criminal investigation. Why didn’t DHS find the same latent fingerprints in 2009, before it admitted the terrorist-refugee? Did DOD withhold the prints from DHS on “privacy” and other legal grounds? Or did the matching process simply fail for technical reasons? Has the Iraq refugee program been suspended or revised in light of the ability of terrorists to scam it?

And here I was very glad (not in the sense of happy!) to see the testimony of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on May 12th (linked in here) in which they are asking for more Iraqis (and Rohingyas too) to be resettled!   We have a whole category (with 97 posts!) on Burmese Muslims known as Rohingyas which we initially refused to resettle because of possible terror links, but it sure looks like the US State Department has the door wide open now and the Bishops are lobbying for more!

These are vital questions, because we continue to admit large numbers of Iraqis as refugees (the Conference of Catholic Bishops says this year’s target is another 18,000 Iraqi admissions to the US — a number that it thinks is too low but one that would increase the total number of Iraqi refugees in this country by 40%). And, as the LA Times notes, “FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a House hearing in February that he had information that Al Qaeda in Iraq may have used the [US refugee program’s] weaknesses to send operatives to the U.S.” What are we doing to fix those weaknesses? And if we can’t fix them, why are we continuing to make a priority of Iraqi refugee admissions?

Enterprising reporters could start with asking those questions of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) one of the leading contractors pushing the Iraqi refugee resettlement.  Apparently the IRC latched onto a model described in a declassified 1999 National War College Report on the Bosnian War using the war as an excuse to get more supposed “refugees” into the US.   In 1999 their cash flow was running low so they needed more bodies to resettle (your tax dollars pay the contractors by the head to resettle refugees).

Oh, and one more hint for enterprising reporters (if you are out there!), ask Samantha Power in the White House.  Obama made her Iraqi refugee czar when he took office!

I almost forgot, in 2009 John Podesta’s Center for American Progress was telling Obama to airlift 100,000 Iraqis to the US, here.   It’s the same old George Soros groupies!

Great reporting on Iraqi refugees arrested in Kentucky

Update June 2nd:   Refugee officials: Terror arrests shouldn’t jeopardize program, here.

Thanks to reporter, Andrew Wolfson, of the Louisville Courier-Journal, who did some serious digging and actually reported on the complaint filed against two Iraqi “nationals” in Bowling Green charged with terrorism related crimes, we now have confirmation that the two were refugees.

See my previous post where I speculated that they had been resettled as refugees in Bowling Green based on an AP story and a press release from the US Justice Department that NEVER ONCE MENTIONED THE SACROSANCT ‘R-WORD!’

Here are some pertinent points in Mr. Wolfson’s story, but please read the whole article there is much more (emphasis mine).

Two Iraqi refugees living in Bowling Green, Ky., have been arrested and charged with violating federal terrorism laws — allegedly plotting to send missiles and other weapons to insurgents to kill American soldiers abroad.

Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, are accused of conspiring to send Stinger missiles, cash, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers from the United States to al Qaeda and other jihadists in Iraq.


Both entered the United States after applying for and receiving refugee status, according to criminal complaints. Under the law, they will be deported if they are convicted.

Used IEDs against Americans hundreds of times!  Investigation began only 5 months after one of the refugees arrived.

According to court records, the FBI began investigating Alwan in September 2009, five months after he entered the United States.

The records say a confidential source for the FBI secretly tape recorded him as he bragged about used IEDs hundreds of times against Americans in Iraq from 2003 until he was arrested by Iraqi authorities in 2006.

He also allegedly told the informant that he was very good with a sniper rifle, saying that his “lunch and dinner would be an American.”

Asked whether he’d achieved results from the various devices in Iraq, Alwan allegedly told the informant, “Oh, yes,” adding that his attacks had “f— up” Hummers and Bradley fighting vehicles, according to court records.


The indictment says Alwan recruited Hammadi in Bowling Green to help export weapons and cash to Iraqi insurgents, and that Hammadi also claimed to have experience deploying IEDs.

Hammadi had been arrested in Iraq, so why wasn’t there a police record for him when he had his supposed security check?

Alwan brought his family with him (for the American Dream?).  And then note there is that old meatpacking plant connection too (refugee resettlement agencies are well-known for finding immigrant labor for meatpackers!)

Alwan is married and his family also lived in Bowling Green; both men worked there, one of them in a chicken processing factory, officials said.

Nah, not for the American Dream!

Alwan told the informant that he had come to America so he could get a passport to return to “Turkey, Saudi (Arabia) or wherever I want to. [Incidentally Iraqi refugees are not allowed in Muslim Saudi Arabia or Turkey—ed].

“I didn’t come here for America,” he allegedly told the informant, according to the criminal complaint.

We’ve got gaps in the screening process!  No kidding!

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security declined to talk on the record about how the defendants got into the United States, citing a department policy against commenting on pending cases.

However, in an email, he said that as applicants for refugee status, their names were vetted against a limited number of databases available at the time for potential derogatory information.

“This case demonstrates specific gaps that were present in the screening process that was in place in the beginning of the (Obama) administration,” he said. “Once the administration became aware of these gaps, it took immediate steps to fill them. Today our vetting process considers a far broader range of information than it did in past years.”

He said refugee applicants worldwide are now subjected to “expanded rigorous background vetting, including biographic and biometric checks.”

He said the latest enhancement to the refugee security check regime involves a new “pre-departure” check shortly before refugees are scheduled to travel to the United States.

It is intended to identify whether any new derogatory information exists since the initial checks were conducted. He said these pre-departure checks went into effect late last year.

Please read the whole article from the Courier-Journal and visit or re-visit my previous post where I reported on how the resettlement agencies/contractors are squawking because stepped-up security measures are slowing the flow of their income (oops, refugees).

Two Iraqis, most likely refugees, have been arrested on terrorism charges in Kentucky

Update June 4th:  KY Senator Rand Paul calls for hearings, here.

Update June 2nd:  Why take any Iraqis at all? here.

Update:  Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting they are refugees, here, thanks to a reader for sending it!   Here is my post on the Courier-Journal investigation.   More questions being asked, here.

Here is the story yesterday from AP* (thanks to several readers who spotted it):

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) – Two Iraqis living in Kentucky have been arrested on charges that they tried to send sniper rifles, stinger missiles and money to Al-Qaida operatives in their home country, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

Thirty-year-old Alwan and 23-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, who both have lived in Bowling Green since 2009, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury Thursday. Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States, and authorities say their weapons and money didn’t make it to Iraq because of a tightly controlled undercover investigation.

Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill a United States national, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and knowingly transferring, possession or exporting a device designed or intended to launch or guide a rocket or missile.

The FBI said Alwan told an informant that he took part in insurgent attacks on U.S. troops and had “f–ked up” Hummers and targeted Bradley fighting vehicles.

The indictment and criminal complaints were unsealed Tuesday after the pair made their initial appearances in federal court in Louisville. Both men entered pleas of not guilty and were remanded to federal custody.

Read it all.

And, here is the press release from the US Department of Justice which opens with the following paragraph—they weren’t just planning they had allegedly been working to harm our troops in Iraq before coming to the US!

WASHINGTON — An Iraqi citizen who allegedly carried out numerous Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and another Iraqi national alleged to have participated in the insurgency in Iraq have been arrested and indicted on federal terrorism charges in the Western District of Kentucky.

These were Iraqi insurgents who got into the US!  So much for the security checks for refugees!

One of the things I find so interesting about this story and many others like it where an immigrant is arrested on terrorism charges, reporters (indeed even the Justice Department doesn’t mention it) never tell us through which LEGAL immigration program the alleged terrorist entered the US.  Was he a refugee, an asylum seeker, a family reunification case, on a student visa, an E-2 treaty investor, or a diversity visa lottery winner, and the list goes on.

The average American reader, who knows little about how someone gets here legally— although you hear all the time the mindless words:  “if he/she came here legally then that is o.k!”—isn’t ever informed about which program the terror-suspect used to get in.  Or, indeed, if he came across the border illegally, which is still a possibility in this case.

Just last week I reported that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was whining about the slow flow of refugees to the US and one of the main reasons for the slowdown is increased security checks.   I linked a piece by an immigration lawyer, Jason Dzubow, who also complained about increased security measures, here.

A couple of days ago when I told you about Attorney General Holder visiting Somalis in Minneapolis, I speculated also that something was up.  I think Homeland Security knows they are sitting on a powder keg—legal immigrants or their offspring (refugees even!) may indeed be the greatest threat from so-called “home grown” terror planning.

Coincidentally, the pro-Open Borders Migration Policy Institute released a report just last week complaining also about how stepped up security measures were slowing the arrival of refugees to the US.  Obama’s goal for this year was 80,000 refugees and possibly only 60,000 will get in.   The report (which I haven’t mentioned because I haven’t had a chance to read it carefully) does address the Iraqi refugee security clearance checks.  In a confusing section (on page 5) author Donald Kerwin (The Faltering US Refugee Protection System) reports that first Iraqis do have to get clearance through a SAO (Security Advisory Opinion), but then says they don’t have to have that clearance before they get a refugee interview.

Iraqi refugees do not have to receive SAO clearance prior to the USCIS refugee interview; all others subject to SAO procedures must be precleared.

Earlier Kerwin made this comment:

SAO delays have been an issue of particular concern to stakeholders in the refugee resettlement process.

Translated for readers this means:  Refugee resettlement contractors (like the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) are ticked off that if security clearances become more burdensome, the flow of refugees will slow and they won’t get their taxpayer funding which is calculated on a per head resettled basis and  consequently they might have to let staff go and they will have less money for political activism.

Only their resettlement contractor (or the State Department) knows for sure!

Which leads me to the fact that Bowling Green is a “preferred community” for refugee resettlement (resettlement contractors get extra federal goodies for bringing refugees there).  That is our tip-off that possibly the two accused Iraqis were refugees resettled in Bowling Green by one of the federal refugee contractors, maybe even by USCRI of the revolving door (USCRI’s  former VP is now head of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement!).   There was much controversy about refugees in Bowling Green (another of those meatpacking towns the State Department likes to help out), here in 2009.

By the way, Iraqis presently top the list of the number of refugees we bring to the US.  In 2010, here, we resettled over 18,000 Iraqis.

For new readers, this is our 492nd post on Iraqi refugees, go here to our archives to learn more!

* LOL!  Where is Matthew Lee, the AP reporter who like clockwork at the end of the Bush Administration whined every month that we weren’t bringing Iraqis to the US fast enough.  Search ‘Matthew Lee’ here at RRW for amusement.