Authorities have apprehended Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was wanted in connection with the weekend bombings in Manhattan and Seaside Park, New Jersey. It took a shootout to capture Rahami, who shot an officer in the stomach before eventually being gunned down and taken into custody. Fortunately, the officer’s bulletproof vest absorbed Rahami’s shot.
Rahami is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan. Authorities do not know whether his terrorist actions were directed by a network. However, Rep. Peter King says he has been informed that “trips to Afghanistan changed [Rahami]” and that the 28-year-old also visited Pakistan.
Regardless of whether Rahami acted under the direction or as part of a terrorist network, this pretty clearly is a case of jihad making its way to the U.S. via a Muslim-American immigrant inspired by Islamic terrorists.
As such, it raises the same sort of questions as the attack this weekend in St. Cloud did. Mark Krikorian frames the question this way: “When are we going to get serious about immigration?”
Krikorian notes that over the past decade, we’ve naturalized about 50,000 Somalis and 20,000 Afghans. Why? How did this serve our national interest?
Krikorian says that hundreds of foreigners from source countries of terrorism, with outstanding deportation orders, have been granted citizenship. They gave different names than the ones they’d given before and their fingerprints hadn’t been digitized, so they were able to slip through the highly touted vetting process.
According to Krikorian, Congress gave DHS money to digitize old fingerprint records, but they used it up and apparently didn’t bother asking Congress for more. He adds:
It’s not that the Obama administration wanted to give citizenship to bad guys; they just didn’t think maintaining the integrity of the naturalization process was all that important. Instead, they spent money showing immigrants how to sign up for welfare and suing companies that tried too hard to avoid hiring illegal aliens.
We just aren’t serious.
Halting immigration from Afghanistan along the lines of my proposal for dealing with Somali immigration might be problematic because of the help we’ve received from Afghans in fighting the Taliban and the promises we may have made in connection with that fight. However, Rahami’s terrorism suggests to me that, in modified form, my proposal may be the way to go when it comes to immigration from Afghanistan.