Refugee Granted Residency; Charged with Terrorism


As the Obama administration welcomes throngs of “displaced” nationals from terrorist countries, an Iraqi refugee granted residency after coming to the U.S. as a teenager has been charged with supporting the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The once-displaced refugee, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, is 24 years old now and lives 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 issued this month. In 2011, when Al Hardan was 17, the U.S. graciously took in his family much the same way the Obama administration is welcoming droves of Syrians and nationals of Yemen, an Al Qaeda hotbed. Besides having close ties to terrorist organizations Al Hardan has received automatic machine gun training, according to the feds.

The indictment is scarce in details, probably for national security reasons, but it’s the culmination of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Houston Police Department. Al Hardan, who attended school in Jordan and doesn’t speak very good English, was arrested in the Harris County apartment he shares with his 18-year-old wife and infant child. He appeared in a Houston federal courtroom last week and has a bond hearing and arraignment scheduled for this week. A local newspaper report says Al Hardan and his family live on food stamps, compliments of American taxpayers. His defense attorney will also be financed by taxpayers.

Al Hardan’s indictment comes just weeks after Texas officials sued the federal government to stop it from resettling Syrian refugees in the state over security concerns. Judicial Watch has reported that a number of high-ranking Homeland Security officials have admitted there’s no way to screen the new arrivals from the war-torn Muslim nation that’s a hotbed of terrorism. In fact a director with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) told Congress a few months ago that his agency has no method of vetting the new refugees because the Syrian government doesn’t have an intelligence database to run checks against. Previous to that, FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach confirmed that the government has no system to properly screen Syrian refugees.

This hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from taking in thousands of Syrian refugees and dispersing them throughout the country. Following the Paris terrorist attacks, officials in municipalities and states across the U.S. launched efforts to stop Syrians from resettling in their jurisdiction because one of the bombers had entered Europe as a Syrian refugee. After hearing that alarming development, a poll found that a majority of Americans opposed admitting Syrian refugees into the United States. In the poll, a majority of Americans also said they’re not confident in the government’s screening process to weed out possible terrorists.

That’s why Texas sued the U.S. to keep Syrian refugees out of the state. The lawsuit accuses federal officials of violating the Refugee Act of 1980, which requires the government to consult regularly with the state regarding the placement of refugees. Following Al Hardan’s indictment Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement saying “the arrest in Houston of an Iraqi refugee for suspicion of terrorist activities is a troubling revelation – especially in light of the President’s insistence on placing further refugees in Texas. My office will continue to press for the right of Texans to ensure that terrorists are not being placed in our communities.”


The motto of Judicial Watch is “Because no one is above the law”. To this end, Judicial Watch uses the open records or freedom of information laws and other tools to investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.