The topic of whether or not to allow refugees from the Middle East into the United States has been heatedly debated. There are those who believe our country should help people and families trying to escape the horror of their embattled homes in the Middle East. And then there are others who say it would be a mistake to allow a bevy of refugees from the Middle East to cross our borders, as it would be so easy for terrorist groups from the Middle East to hide within the mass exodus of those fleeing their country.
Recently, the views of the latter group have proven true, as two refugees from the Middle East have been arrested in the United States under suspicion of terrorism. According to Reuters, both of these men were born in Iraq. Omar Faraj Saeed al-Hardan entered the United States in 2009 as an Iraqi refugee. He was arrested in Houston on terrorism charges. He is charged with lying about his ties to the Islamic State militant group while seeking to become a United States citizen, as well as providing material support to the radical group.
Texas has adamantly opposed resettlement of new Syrian refugees within its borders for quite some time now. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says the arrests of the men from the Middle East is a perfect example of why Texas has been fighting so hard to block Syrian refugees.
“This is exactly what we have repeatedly told the Obama administration could happen and why we do not want refugees coming to Texas. There are serious questions about who these people really are, as evidenced by today’s events.”
Two arrested in US on terrorism charges: Two men from the Middle East who came to the United States as refugee… https://t.co/zc485RFSb4
— SUDIPTO BOSE (@sbose64) January 8, 2016
Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab, a Syrian refugee who came to live in the U.S. in 2012, was arrested in Sacramento for making false statements about international terrorism. It is the opinion of U.S. attorney Benjamin Wagner that al-Jayab was not involved in planning any terrorist attacks.
“While he represented a potential safety threat, there is no indication that he planned any acts of terrorism in this country.”
Lauren Horwood, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney for Sacramento, said the arrest of the man from the Middle East poses no threat to public safety.
According to WHNT News, although both men from the Middle East had been in contact with one another, it does not appear as if they were working together on one project.
Omar Faraj Saeed al-Hardan may serve up to 20 years in prison and be required to pay a quarter of a million dollars in fines.
Likewise, Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab may also have to pay up to $250,000 dollars in fines and could serve up eight years in prison.
Social media messages from 2012 and 2013 confirm the Middle East refugee’s involvement in fighting with several terrorist groups, which includes Ansar al-Islam. Although the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asked al-Jayab specifically about this trip, he lied, stating he had traveled to Turkey to see his grandmother.
According to the following video, al-Jayab is “accused of traveling to Syria to fight alongside terrorist organizations and then lying to government investigators about it.”
The arrests of these men from the Middle East are especially noteworthy at this point in time because President Obama is set on bringing Syrian refugees into the U.S. by the droves.
Do you agree with Obama’s plan to resettle people from the Middle East in America? Do you think flooding our population with those from the Middle East will spell devastation for the U.S.?
[Photo by Bob Levey/Associated Press]