The sudden influx into the United States of 94,000 evacuees from Afghanistan has many defenders, and they’ve used the usual arguments against those who have raised concerns: These people are in need, they’re in need because of American actions, and thus anyone who objects is selfish, heartless, and probably bigoted and racist as well. “Criticism is intensifying,” the Washington Post opined on August 24, from some of the stars of the Left’s enemies list: “on Fox News, among Republican state lawmakers in Wisconsin where some refugees are being temporarily housed, and from the nativist, anti-immigrant factions in the country that helped Donald Trump ride into the White House.” Amid all the festivities, however, the same Washington Post reported Friday that “the Department of Homeland Security flagged 44 Afghan evacuees as potential national security risks during the past two weeks as the government screened tens of thousands for resettlement in the United States.”
Not only that, but “two Afghan nationals who were previously deported and returned as evacuees have been transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities after landing in the United States, according to two DHS officials. Both were deported after felony convictions: one for a 2010 sexual assault and the other for an armed robbery in 2011, according to one official who was not authorized to discuss the criminal records. The two individuals are currently in ICE custody in Virginia.”
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas refuses to answer the question of “how many Afghans have been blocked from traveling or failed to clear the vetting process, but he characterized the number as ‘extraordinarily de minimis’ during a briefing with reporters Wednesday, using the legal term for an insignificant quantity.” So apparently most of those who are vetted get through, including at least two people who had been previously deported.
Nonetheless, Mayorkas not unexpectedly worked hard to put a good face on it all, saying that evacuees who have been barred from entering the country are “an example of a multilayered screening process working.” Well, that’s terrific, but the problem is when the multilayered screening process doesn’t work, and people who are national security risks or criminals who were deported and yet still able to board a plane out of Kabul end up back in this country. Mayorkas doesn’t seem to have bothered to address that.
They’re facing the same problem over in Britain. The Daily Mail noted Friday: “An Afghan special forces commando has been arrested by armed police at a Manchester hotel where he was quarantining with his family. Armed officers stormed the hotel in a pre-dawn raid on or around August 31 or September 1, it has been revealed. The unnamed individual is still in detention although it is not yet known if he has been charged with a crime.” The Daily Mail, unlike the Washington Post, didn’t shy away from the obvious conclusion: “It raises questions about the quality of vetting of the roughly 8,000 Afghan refugees who were airlifted to the UK from Kabul after Joe Biden’s rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
Yes, it does. And so does a news item that Defense One reported in late August: “security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar have detected that at least one of the Afghans who was evacuated from Kabul Airport has potential ties to ISIS, a U.S. official confirmed to Defense One.” This official added that “there’s certainly been a number of them” who triggered alerts. Defense One notes that “the Defense Department’s Automated Biometric Identification System has flagged up to 100 of the 7,000 Afghans evacuated as prospective recipients of Special Immigration Visas as potential matches to intelligence agency watch lists, a second official said.”
Then there is the unpleasant fact that Business Insider reported on August 15: “Thousands of inmates, including former Islamic State and al-Qaeda fighters, were released from a prison on the outskirts of Kabul as the Taliban called for a ‘peaceful transition’ of power. Afghan government troops surrendered Bagram airbase to the Taliban early on Sunday. The base houses Pul-e-Charki prison, which has around 5,000 prisoners. It is the largest in Afghanistan and notorious for its poor conditions. A maximum-security cellblock held members of al Qaeda and Taliban, said reports. Footage published by an independent Afghan news agency, which supports the Taliban, appears to show militants letting the inmates out.”
What possible safeguards were in place in Kabul to prevent any of those jihadis from coming to the United States as “refugees”? Surely the crack intelligence agents of the speak-no-jihad, hear-no-jihad, see-no-jihad Biden administration won’t let any of them through, right? Right. Of course, they won’t. Saturday is the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, and American authorities are more clueless than ever about the nature and magnitude of what the U.S. is up against. Expect to hear a great deal more about jihadis among the Afghan evacuees.