In a distressing case out of Arizona, an Ethiopian man granted refugee status by the Obama administration is really a terrorist who lied to the U.S. government about his identity.
The man, Mohamed Abdirahman Osman, and his wife, Zeinab Abdirahman Mohamed, have lived in Tucson since Uncle Sam invited them into the country as refugees back in 2014. Wonder how their neighbors feel that a grand jury recently indicted the couple for making false statements to a government agency and lying about the husband’s ties to the militant Somali group Al-Shabaab?
Osman used a fake Somalian passport to get to the U.S., according to the 11-count indictment, which charges the husband with eight crimes and the wife with three for helping him conceal his true identity. The feds say Osman was injured while handling explosives for Al-Shabaab in 2009 but told authorities the injury occurred in a 2010 terrorist attack at the Bakara Market in Somalia.
In 2008 the State Department designated Al-Shabaab an official Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). “Al-Shabaab is a violent and brutal extremist group with a number of individuals affiliated with al-Qaida,” according to the State Department. “Many of its senior leaders are believed to have trained and fought with al-Qaida in Afghanistan.” The agency further writes in its designation that “Al-Shabaab has used intimidation and violence to undermine the Somali government and threatened civil society activists working to bring about peace through political dialogue and reconciliation.”
Osman and his wife fled to China and applied for refugee status with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer in Beijing using an alias. Documents submitted by the couple contained “false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements,” according to the indictment. The fraudulent statements included Osman’s true name and nationality and denial of his association with a terrorist organization.
Osman was born in Ethiopia and obtained a passport from the Somali Republic, the indictment says. The feds claim that he moved from Ethiopia to Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, at “the direction of Al-Shabab.” The couple was finally arrested last month, after living in Tucson for four years. Osman and Mohamed had already submitted applications for legal permanent residence.
It’s not clear how federal authorities completely missed the red flags to allow this suspected terrorist to live in the U.S. for years or how they finally discovered the truth. What the case indisputably reveals is that there are gaping vulnerabilities in the refugee program. Judicial Watch has reported on this for years.
In fact, back in 2011 Islamic terrorists— including two al Qaeda affiliates indicted in Kentucky—entered the United States legally through a refugee resettlement program. It was called the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), a joint venture between the State Department and USCIS to help tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable refugees start a new life in America each year. Most of the refugee referrals in USRAP are made by the notoriously corrupt United Nations, which has published an extensive handbook on the subject.
In 2016, an Iraqi refugee granted residency after coming to the U.S. as a teenager, was charged with supporting the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The once-displaced refugee, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, was 24 years old and lived in Houston, Texas. He tried to supply material support to ISIL and lied about his ties to the terrorist organization and his weapons training when applying to become a U.S. citizen, according to a federal indictment .
This is hardly an isolated incident. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) confirmed that individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria tried to infiltrate the U.S. through the Obama refugee program that admitted 10,000 Syrians. The agency that serves as the umbrella for the intelligence community also revealed the obvious, that “the refugee system, like all immigration programs, is vulnerable to exploitation from extremist groups seeking to send operatives to the West.”