Surprise! Another Iraqi refugee with possible terror ties incarcerated (San Antonio this time)

I missed this story earlier this month, but reader ‘Pungentpeppers’ spotted it and alerted us to it.   The original story appears in the San Antonio Express-News, but it’s not readily available.  Fortunately, the blogger at  ‘Limits to Growth’ posted the entire story.

Social Security Investigator: During his arrest Sept. 6, he admitted lying to get refugee status.

And, when I say another Iraqi, I’m thinking of those two Kentucky refugees doing time for terror connections and then there is the case of the Social Security office bomber in Phoenix.

This story is especially interesting because the accused was first being investigated for fraud associated with his disability payments and lying on his refugee application, but he also works in a convenience store (what a coincidence that is) while supposedly being disabled.  I wonder did authorities check to see if food stamp fraud was going on there along with the employment fraud?

Someone please let Senator Rand Paul know there is another one!  Paul is the only US Senator or Member of Congress willing to ask why we are resettling so many refugees.

From San Antonio Express News via Limits to Growth:

SAN ANTONIO — On the surface, Ahmed Khudhur Tayyeh is a refugee, resettled in San Antonio in 2008 by the United Nations to help him escape persecution in his native Iraq.

The way this region’s Joint Terrorism Task Force tells it, however, the 39-year-old is suspected of having ties to Al-Qaida.

He was arrested earlier this month on an indictment charging him — not with terrorism — but with theft from the government, defrauding the Social Security Administration out of $7,995 in disability benefits and with withholding information that he had been getting a side income.

As one of nearly 200,000 Iraqi refugees approved by the U.S. government for resettlement in America since 2007, Tayyeh was given a green card, despite giving conflicting stories about how he injured his leg. In one story he allegedly said he took a hit from an improvised bomb, in another he said he was kidnapped by Iraqi police and shot in the leg. The government here gave him disability benefits because the injury supposedly prevented him from working.

Read it all.  LOL!  And be sure to see how he was always checking to see if he was being followed—a trained agent? or an avid fan of spy novels?

San Antonio is Catholic Charities territory!

It looks like the accused is one of Catholic Charities clients.  Go here for the resettlement contractors working in Texas.

And, check out the numbers (Arrivals by Destination City by Nationality by FY as of Aug 31, 2013 ).  Texas has resettled a whopping 59,632 refugees since 2001.  San Antonio got 5,009 of those which included 927 Iraqis.

Apology to readers!  Last week we changed our e-mail address and didn’t set it so the mail went to our private e-mail accounts.  Having forgotten that, I then forgot to check the new mail box all week.  If you have sent e-mails and not heard back, I apologize and will get to them over the weekend!

Obamacare will help mentally ill refugees say California immigrant health advocates

Here are some snips from the story at New America Media (hat tip: Joanne):

….a public health care worker [Mohamed] who helps refugees from African and Middle-Eastern countries says once Obamacare is launched she will no longer have to witness her clients getting bumped off health care benefits eight months after they arrive in the United States, even as they are still trying to navigate the new culture.  [She is referring to the initial health care that comes with each refugee, thanks to the US taxpayer—ed]


The ACA [Affordable Care Act] will require insurers to treat psychiatric illness like any other. It will also remove many of the obstacles to fair treatment, Muñoz said.

Mohamed [Amina Sheik Mohamed], program director at UCSD’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and active in the African and Middle-Eastern refugee communities, said that if refugees can now enroll in Medi-Cal because of its expansion, they need no longer face the short-term health care their refugee status now limits them to.

That aside, Obamacare will allow refugees to access the mental health services they so acutely need, she said.

“Refugees come to the United States with a lot of anxiety and stress,” she pointed out. “They need mental health care.”

Yes they do!  See our ‘health issues’ category (168 previous posts!) for more on refugee mental illness.  For new readers, to learn what other benefits refugees receive in addition to health care, see our Fact Sheet by clicking here.

The photo is from this March 2013 story about Mohamed at KPBS.

Human Rights First: US should commit next week to taking more Syrian refugees

Duncan Breen, Senior Associate, Refugee Protection Program at Human Rights First says at next week’s meeting of foreign ministers in Geneva that the US should make a commitment to resettle more Syrians and to make it easier for them to get around “bars to protection under U.S. immigration law” (code for reduce security screening).

Breen, center, at release of HIAS report on LGBTI refugees in May

Here is a portion of the press release at Human Rights First:

Next week in Geneva, foreign ministers will convene to discuss ways to support Syria’s neighbors as they host hundreds of thousands of refugees. The United States has contributed significant resources to help address the humanitarian crisis, far more than any other nation. This gives the U.S. delegation, led by Deputy Secretary Bill Burns, even greater standing to use this high-level meeting to:  1) advocate strongly for access to protection for Syrian refugees; 2) encourage other donors to increase their contributions to assist Syrian refugees; and 3) make a firm commitment to increase its own resettlement of Syrian refugees to the United States.


The United States has the world’s largest refugee resettlement program. But it is resettling very few refugees from Syria at present.  The United States should use the opportunity of next week’s meeting to announce a commitment to significantly increase the numbers of Syrian refugees it will accept through its resettlement program. At the U.N. General Assembly this week, Lebanese President Sleiman asked for help beyond financial assistance and stressed the need “to search for ways to share the burdens and numbers among States.” As the UNHCR steps up its efforts to identify the most vulnerable Syrian refugees for resettlement, the United States should make clear its commitment to resettling increasing numbers of Syrian refugees and take steps to proactively address potential bars to protection under U.S. immigration law.

How about we fill up that UN camp at Al-Azraq first!

Photo is from this panel discussion.