U.S. Should Not Take Syrian Refugees, Lebanese American Says

Brigitte Gabriel, president of ACT for America, speaks at the Values Voter Summit. Photo credit: Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media Brigitte Gabriel, president of ACT for America, speaks at the Values Voter Summit.
Photo credit: Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media

WASHINGTON - It is vital for American national security not to accept the huge influx of Syrian refugees because the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) has infiltrated them, according to Brigitte Gabriel, founder and president of ACT for America, the largest grassroots national security organization.

“We know ISIS infiltrated them, they were coming here under the disguise of refugees, but they are actually ISIS recruiters and ISIS sympathizers,” Gabriel told PJ Media in an interview at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday. She added that the refugees “are making up names -- they can tell us anything, and there is nothing we can do to check it.”

The refugee crisis has become a huge issue following the viral photo of a drowned Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi. Members of the European Union have clashed on a plan to accept 120,000 refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the United States will accept 85,000 refugees this year, up from the previous cap of 70,000, and an additional 100,000 next year.

Gabriel did not deny the charitable impulse of helping people in need. “We can still do humanitarian work, but we need to make sure we are protected first,” she declared.

No Way to Vet Refugees

In February, Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, testified that the U.S. government has no way to vet the refugees pouring in from Middle Eastern countries. “We don’t have it under control,” Steinbach admitted.

“These people don’t have passports. We don’t even know if the name they give is their real name,” Gabriel explained. The refugees also are not just coming from embattled countries like Syria and Iraq, she argued. They also come from Tunisia, Libya, Eritrea, Djibouti and Afghanistan -- migrants fleeing poor countries to go to rich countries.

Gabriel argued that the refugees must have a reason for going further west, as opposed to other countries in the Middle East. “These refugees can go to any country in the region, where they speak the Arabic language, where their children can assimilate and continue in their schooling with Arabic schools. Why are they coming to Europe?”

One reason, she alleged, is that “the word got out that if you want a freebie, this is the opportunity to come to Europe and live off the government.”

Perhaps more importantly, however, many Middle Eastern countries would turn the migrants away. “Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy country and a very big country -- they have a lot of space,” Gabriel noted. She explained that Saudi Arabia, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait are refusing to accept these refugees because “they are a national security threat.” When Arabic countries suspect terror activity from the refugees, why should we overlook it?

“If Saudi Arabia is refusing to accept them because they are a national security threat, why are we accepting them?” Gabriel asked. “Are we that dumb?”

Values Voter Summit Photo credit: Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media

“I Have Lost My Country”

Gabriel, a Christian born and raised in Lebanon, explained that her history made her passionate about this issue. “I lost my country of birth to radical Islam -- I do not want to lose my adopted country, America,” she declared.

Lebanon was once known as “the Paris of the Middle East.” It was the banking capital and the only majority Christian country in the region (70 percent Christian in the 1940s). “We had the best economy in the Middle East, even though we didn’t have any oil,” Gabriel explained. In 1965, National Geographic called Lebanon “the Eden of the Middle East.”

“We had an open border policy -- we welcomed everybody into our country because we wanted to share with them the westernization we had created in the heart of the Middle East,” she explained. Sadly, that westernization was not to endure.