Department of Homeland Security officials were aware of the fact that Abdul Razak Ali Artan was a possible terror recruitment target for Islamic terrorists. However, in spite of that, he was granted asylum anyway.
This was revealed in a letter written by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Chuck Grassley. The letter was sent by Grassley to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on Wednesday.
While seeking asylum back in 2013 from Somalia, The Daily Caller reveals “Artan’s mother told immigration authorities that that she feared persecution from al-Qaeda affiliate group al-Shabaab, and worried that Abdul and his siblings would be recruited by the terrorist organization if they remained in Somalia.”
Artan’s father, according to the letter, had been kidnapped by the terrorist group. According to the Committee, one of Abdul’s siblings did not travel to America with the rest of the family, for reasons left unclear. Having such information should result in immigration authorities to pursue additional questioning, but that additional questioning never happened.
Artan was shot and killed in late November after using his car as a weapon, plowing into pedestrians before attacking students with a butcher knife. ISIS has claimed credit for the attack. In an interview with school newspaper a few months before the attack, Artan complained about the lack of Muslim prayer rugs provided by the university.
On December 14, Grassley sent the following letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson:
Dear Secretary Johnson:
On December 3, 2016, I wrote to you requesting information on Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Ohio State University student who attacked pedestrians on campus with his car and a butcher’s knife leaving 11 injured. Today, I seek additional information from your Department based on new details provided to the Committee.
According to sources, Abdul Razak Ali Artan was a lawful permanent resident who originally came to the United States from Mogadishu, Somalia after spending time in a Pakastani refugee camp with his mother, Fatima Abdullahi, and six siblings. According to records obtained by the Committee, the mother sought asylum in 2013 for herself and seven of her eight children because she feared persecution from “Militia and Al-Shabbah.” She also indicated that her husband was kidnapped, and that her children would be kidnapped and recruited by Al-Shabbah if they remained in Somalia.
This information should have caused the asylum officer to conduct additional questioning of the older children to better understand ties to a group that the United States designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 2008. Further questioning could have eliminated the possibility that the asylees had dubious ties to the terrorist group and could have allowed for more robust vetting and data collection. However, although common practice in these cases, no additional questioning was conducted.
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