New information coming to light reveals that the FBI had been alert about bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami at least twice in 2014 – once by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and another time by the suspect’s father.
The case is being described by Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies as an oversight on the part of the FBI.
Fox News reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents questioned Rahami in an interview in March 2014, after he returned to the United States from a 13-month trip to Pakistan. The agents then notified the FBI about the interview.
Months later, his own father also contacted the FBI and said his son could be involved with terrorism.
Normally a second interview is conducted when someone is flagged in this manner, but it appears that neither the DHS nor the FBI made any follow-up.
“What happened here, as was the case with other terrorists who came on the governments radar, like Syed Farook, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and others, is that our immigration system is producing alerts, and providing the opportunity to investigate suspicious people and activity, but the leads are not followed,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy research for Center for Immigration Studies told FoxNews.com. “This is partly because our loosely-run immigration policy has flooded the works with too many people to monitor, and too many immigrant enclaves in which bad actors can melt into the background.”
Vaughan adds that the current system perhaps enabled Rahami to fly under the radar.
“I believe this oversight on the part of the FBI also stems from a policy emanating from the top that denies any connection between our immigration policy and these incidents of terror attacks, and therefore tends to dismiss or underutilize the national security value of immigration tools,” she said.
It is now known that Rahami made at least four trips to the Afghanistan and Pakistan areas during the period of 2005 to 2014. He has family in Afghanistan and reportedly married a woman from Pakistan.
Fox News also reported that Rahami spent some time in Pakistan at a religious seminary that had ties to the Taliban.
Government officials told the paper that Rahami spent three weeks in 2011 at the he Kaan Kuwa Naqshbandi madrassa in Kuchlak, a long-known hub for the Taliban insurgency. The official also said that Rahami also visited other sensitive areas, including Nushki, where former Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed during a U.S.-led drone strike.
The FBI was alerted to the warning signs on the American jihadist in training, but overlooked it.
Obama has announced a target of 110,000 refugees to be admitted into the United States for the fiscal year 2017, and claims the vetting system is secure.
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