Islamic Refugees, Rigorous Vetting and the Facts: Part 1

One argument for bringing thousands of Middle East refugees to the U.S. is that these allegedly vetted immigrants are supposedly the safest kind of visitors.

Is that true?

The FBI announced this week it has 300 refugees already in the U.S. under investigation for suspected terror activities. That’s 300 refugees who we were assured were “rigorously” vetted by the United Nations and the U.S. government. Yet, it turns out they are deadly threats.

The 300 constitute 30% of the 1,000 open terror cases being investigated by the FBI. By the way, do you think the FBI has identified all the threats among the refugees? How’s that “rigorous” vetting working for you?

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We’re not just talking about people who may commit robberies or muggings or rapes. But terror activities. It’s anyone’s guess how many robberies, muggings and rapes they commit.

It’s also anybody’s guess whether Islamic refugees commit more or fewer routine crimes than any other group. Academic studies usually lump together decades of refugee data, including Cubans from the 1960s, Vietnamese from the 1970s and sometimes even pre-World War II refugees fleeing Europe. How about crimes committed strictly by Islamic refugees since 9-11?

“There is no data that I know of,” Ann Corcoran told me. Ms. Cocoran operates, where for eight years she has monitored refugees imported to U.S. cities.

“…[T]he authorities don’t usually tell the public through which immigration pathway an alien gets in here,” she said by email. “There are many legal programs and only in recent years does a news account call someone who commits a crime a refugee.”

The next time someone tells you that this latest surge of refugees is safe, let alone “the safest” of all immigrants, ask them how they know. Odds are, they are parroting talking points, not reciting documented facts.

Meanwhile, consider some examples of Islamic refugees caught planning or having committed acts of violence that Ms. Corcoran has documented on her website: A Somali arrested as he planned to detonate a bomb in 2010 to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon.

There was the Kentucky refugee terrorist now serving a life sentence after lying on U.S. immigration paperwork about his involvement in Iraqi insurgent operations against American troops; two Iraqi refugees were convicted for helping Al Qaeda in Iraq and maybe killing American servicemen there. They also lied on their refugee applications.

(Again, how’s that vetting working out?)

In 2012, an Iraqi refugee set off a bomb at a Social Security Office in Arizona and successful asylum seekers, known as the Boston Bombers, were Chechens refugees. In 2013, an Uzbek refugee was arrested in Idaho and convicted on terrorism charges.

In 2016, an Iraqi refugee was accused of planning to bomb a Texas mall. In September 2016, a Somali refugee went on a stabbing spree at St. Cloud, Minn., mall. The same month, the Chelsea bomber, who had been granted asylum, was arrested. There was also the 2016 knife-slashing attack by a Somali refugee at Ohio State.

Ms. Cocoran wraps up her examples, “lumping the dozens of wannabe Somali refugee jihadists (mostly from Minnesota) who have been identified and/or convicted of wanting to leave the country to fight for al-Shabaab or ISIS.” She provides links to all these and more at

But those are terrorists. Aren’t regular refugees law-abiding?

To get a general idea, we might check out Europe, where there is a direct correlation between high concentrations of refugees and high crime rates. You know, robberies, muggings, rapes, etc.

Apparently unlike the U.S., some European countries specifically track refugee crimes. “Refugees committed more than 200,000 crimes [in 2015] in Germany,” reported the U.K.’s Daily Express.

Refugees in Germany committed 92,000 more offences in 2015 than in 2014, according to official figures. That’s 200,000 crimes that would not have occurred without refugees.

Consequently, Pew Research Center last December found the correlation between crime and refugees resonates with Europeans, 59% of whom in 10 EU countries “voice concern about the prospect of increased terrorism” because of refugees. This includes 76% in Hungary, 71% in Poland, 61% in Germany and the Netherlands and 60% in Italy. As Pew explained, “Negative views of refugees are tied to negative views about Muslims.”

Apologists for the refugee program point to studies that conclude your chances of being killed by a refugee are akin to being struck by lightning. What they rarely say is your chances of being killed by anything or anyone are always incredibly small. That’s not a reason to do risky things, or to expose others to risks.

Do you go out of your way to stroll through high-crime neighbors? Do you picnic in parks plagued with gang violence? Those are warning signs reasonable people heed to decrease their chance of being struck by lightning.

As warning signs go, how’s this one?

“We have sent many operatives to Europe with the refugees,” an ISIS commander told the Washington Post. “Some of our brothers have fulfilled their mission, but others are still waiting to be activated.”

Was he just blowing smoke?

Iraqi refugee Jamal Jabur thinks not: “Within a few days in the refugees’ camp in Germany, I met three former ISIS members. There are lots of them.”

The chief of German Domestic Intelligence stated flatly that European officials have “seen repeatedly that terrorists are being smuggled in, camouflaged as refugees.”

Europol says, “It is indisputable that some (terrorists) have entered the EU posing as refugees.”

Does the threat stop at Europe’s shoreline?

“[ISIL] is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West, including refugee flows, smuggling routes and legitimate methods of travel,” according to John O. Brennan, CIA Director in the Obama Administration.

“[O]ne technique they’ve used is taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow,” concurred James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence.

If we ignore all those warning signs, how about this one?

“Just wait,” an ISIS Smuggler told BuzzFeed. “It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world and we will have it soon, God willing. They are going like refugees.”

When Europe opened its borders to Syrian refugees, officials assured us there will be no jihadists among them. That was untrue. Germany’s national security agency has confessed that despite being warned in advance of jihadists posing as asylum-seekers, German police last June arrested three Syrians on charges of planning a major attack in Dusseldorf. The prosecutors said they planned to kill “as many bystanders as possible with guns and other explosives,” reported the Washington Post.

Just as in Europe, with a constant drum beat in the press, Americans have been assured that “rigorous” vetting will weed out the dangerous among refugees.

But the press didn’t follow up so much when the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security both admitted last year there is no way to vet people coming from the Middle East, a land of failed states, non-existent record-keeping and widespread corruption, including the forging of identity documents.

The risk may be slight. Or not. But what gives refugee advocates the right to impose any risk, however slight on their neighbors, particularly without asking permission first?

Refugees may not be inclined to jihad. Or they may be. Or they may be “sleepers” purposely keeping a low-profile until the time is right, as did the San Bernardino husband and wife jihadist murderers.

Muslim refugees may not be radicalized today, but won’t that likelihood increase by adding to their number in already segregated Muslim-dominated zones under the tutelage of Saudi Arabian-financed mosques?

Last year, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions and Sen. Ted Cruz said the problems go beyond the refugee program, and called for closer scrutiny of the pace of immigration from Muslim countries.

“The resources spent every year investigating the countless number of immigrant terrorist suspects in the United States are astronomical,” they said. “And yet, as this costly and dangerous status quo continues, the U.S. continues to admit approximately 680,000 migrants from Muslim countries every five years.”

If the FBI has discovered 300 refugees that slipped through “rigorous” vetting, how many more will be among the next 680,000?

Many of our Christian brethren demand more Middle East refugees be brought to our country, citing as justification the Good Samaritan parable and commandments to love our neighbor and share the Gospel.

In Part 2 tomorrow, we examine Christians’ responsibility and look at the effects on our society and culture from importing refugees who can’t be vetted.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Mark Landsbaum
Mark Landsbaum is a Christian husband, father, grandfather and journalist who has written for a living for 43 years, ever since discovering he had no particular talents. He can be found on Facebook, Linkedin, and in the archives of the Orange County Register where he wrote another column for 10 years. He can be reached at

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