Refugee Program Allowed Terrorists To Enter US In The Past

Refugee Program Allowed Terrorists To Enter US In The Past
Support the right to seek asylum – Refugee Action protest 27 July 2013 Melbourne Takver / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

While 31 states in the United States said they stand opposed to accepting Syrian refugees, Kentucky in the past has had two Iraqi refugees who, settled in Bowling Green, turned out to be terrorists linked to the group al Qaeda.


Both these individuals tried to acquire heavy weapons and pleaded guilty to charges connected with terrorist activity. There may have been other suspected terrorists and bombmakers who were admitted in the U.S. as Iraq and Afghanistan war refugees, according to a 2013 ABC News investigation. These terrorists included some accused of targeting U.S. troops.

The two suspected al-Qaeda terrorists settled in Bowling Green in Kentucky in 2009 following a flaw in the background screening process. In a 2013 investigation, officials said that, because of this, the refugee program was temporarily suspended.

Several governors have now said that they will not be accepting Syrians escaping the ongoing conflict in the war-torn country. Morning News USA previously reported that Michigan, Alabama and Texas said they will not admit Syrian refugees until a review is conducted. The announcement came in the aftermath of last week’s Paris attacks, that led to the deaths of 129 people and wounded 350 others.

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House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Michael McCaul, R-Texas, called for President Barack Obama to suspend the program temporarily. During the 2013 investigation, then-Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, Peter Boogaard, said the government of U.S. “continually improves and expands its procedures for vetting immigrants, refugees and visa applicants, and today [the] vetting process considers a far broader range of information than it did in years past.”

Obama administration said Tuesday that the refugees and migrants entering the U.S. undergo “the most rigorous screening and security vetting of any category of people entering the United States.” Speaking on the subject, Obama said, “We will provide refuge to at least 10,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria over the next year after they pass the highest security checks. Here, our focus is giving safe haven to the most vulnerable Syrians – women, children, and survivors of torture. Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That’s not who we are. And it’s not what we’re going to do.”