In fiscal year 2015 only two of the 176,397 removal orders requested by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were based on terrorism concerns, according the government figures released this month by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonprofit university group dedicated to researching the U.S. government. That amounts to about one thousandth of one percent, TRAC points out, disclosing that in fiscal year 2014 DHS sought only three such orders based on terrorism concerns. During the first two months of fiscal year 2016, no removals have been sought by the administration on the bases of terrorism-related activities, TRAC states citing the government figures.
This unsettling information comes amid a recent wave of Somalis charged with terrorism in Minnesota, not to mention the savage attacks in San Bernardino, California by Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) sympathizers, one of them a Pakistani who entered the U.S. with a “fiancé visa.” It’s difficult to believe that the tally of noncitizens that could or should be removed by the feds for terrorism related activities isn’t much higher than the government figures show. Earlier this year Muhammad Abdulaziz , a Kuwaiti born man of Jordanian descent, shot and killed four Marines and a Navy sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee after spending time in the Middle East. Remember that the Boston Marathon bombers were Chechen terrorists who could have been deported years before they attacked, especially the older brother (Tamerlan Tsarnaev) who had been arrested and/or convicted of domestic violence.
This week a 10th Minnesotan, yet another young Muslim Somali man, was charged with conspiracy to help ISIS. His name is Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, he’s 20 years old and lives in Eagan, which is located south of St. Paul with a population of around 65,000. Warsame was among a group of 10 men from the Twin Cities’ large Somali community who planned to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS, according to the federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Warsame and his fellow Somali terrorist pals gathered at a local mosque to watch videos glorifying religious violence and Warsame paid $200 to have a third party get him an expedited passport to travel abroad to join fellow jihadists, the feds state in their complaint. Three of the accused have already pleaded guilty to terrorism charges, one is in Syria and five are scheduled to be tried next year.
In a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) affidavit included in the court documents, the agency reveals that Warsame and his buddies planned to travel to Syria by driving to Mexico and flying from there. Here’s another lovely tidbit from a local newspaper report; Minnesota is believed to have produced more would-be foreign fighters than any other state. There’s an upside, though. The area has a Muslim community that’s “exceptionally engaged with efforts to counter extremism.”
For those wondering why ISIS and ISIL are sometimes used interchangeably in the media and elsewhere, here’s an explanation straight out of Warsame’s complaint: “In an audio recording publicly released on June 29, 2014 ISIL announced a formal change of ISIL’s name to Islamic State. This terrorist organization will be referred to as ‘ISIL’ for the balance of this affidavit.” The U.S. government also uses the following aliases when referring to ISIS or ISIL, the complaint states: Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, ad-Dawla al-Islamiyya fi al-‘Iraq wa ash-Sham, Daesh, Dawla al Islamiya and Al-Furqan Establishment for Media Production.