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US Security Officials Discount Danger of Syrian Refugee Terrorism. By Roger Algase

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Update: December 3, 6:35 am

The following is the statement of the Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR) regarding the San Bernardino shooting, as reported in Al Jazeera America:

"We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured...The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence."



Update: December 3, 6:12 am

The two San Bernadino killers (evidently husband and wife or at least in a couple relationship) have been identified as Muslims. The man was a US citizen; the citizenship of the woman is not known as yet. The guns, evidently, were purchased legally.

According to reports, this is the 355th mass killing which has taken place in the US this year, which would indicate that there are also a lot of violent and dangerous non-Muslims in America, out of whose hands we also have to keep guns.

So far, there is no information that has been released as to whether any Islamist terror group was involved. None has claimed responsibility. But little details like this are not likely to stop an outpouring of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate, as witnessed by a comment below.

I will not make any further comment until more facts are known about this shooting. It is too early to jump to any conclusions, other than to say that there are too many guns in America, and it is too easy for criminals or deranged people of any religious affiliation or none at all, and any citizenship or immigration status, to get hold of them


Update: December 2, 9:51 pm

It is still too early to tell the identity or motives of the two dead suspects in the sickening, despicable, shooting at a San Bernadino center for disabled people, or of a third suspect who is believed to be on the loose. However, one late report (as of this hour) says that the room where the shooting that killed 14 people took place had been rented by a health care provider.

While no further information is yet available, it is reasonably safe to make one prediction: If the shooting was carried out by Muslims, foreign or domestic, of any citizenship or immigration status, there will undoubtedly be hysterical calls in the right wing media and among Republican politicians (and some Democrats too, no doubt) to seal our borders immediately against all non-citizens and lock up all of America's four million Muslim citizens in concentration camps. Even if the perpetrators turn out to be non-Muslim immigrants or naturalized US citizens, there will in all likelihood be calls to seal the borders and carry out mass deportations of 11 million people.

If on the other hand, the suspects turn out to have been white, native-born US citizens, the whole incident will most likely be dismissed by the right wing as just another unavoidable event: "We can't check everyone's mental health in advance, you know."

That is what America is becoming today.

My previous comments follow:

Update: December 2, 8:00 pm

According to The Guardian, in a December 2 article, a French Journalist and former ISIS hostage, Nicolas Henin, has warned that by closing their borders against Syrian refugees, western countries may actually be playing into the hands of ISIS propagandists who want all Muslims to believe that they are hated by the West.

Henin was held hostage by the notorious "Jihadi John", Mohammend Emwazi, along with six other hostages whom he eventually beheaded on videos which were circulated all over the world. Henin was released along with other French Hostages in April, 2014.

The Guardian writes:

"Henin said that the summer refugee crisis had been a propaganda blow to ISIS. Images of refugees fleeing the Muslim 'deamland' and being welcomed in the lands of 'unbelievers' had given a lie to their message of western hatred toward Muslims, he said. 'And that is why they probably tried to manipulate the public during the Paris attack, to make us close our borders, and maybe, even more importantly, to close our minds.'"

For the full story, see:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-syria-strikes

The sponsors of two Congressional bills, one in the Senate and one in the House, which would effectively end any hope that even the tiny number of 10,000 Syrian refugees could now have of coming to the United States any time in the near future, might want to pay attention to Henin's warning. He unquestionably knows a few things about ISIS from personal experience that hopefully no one else will ever have to find out the hard way.

My original post appears below.

At a recent NATO-sponsored conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the attitude of American security experts to the alleged terror threat posed by Syrian refugees was considerably calmer and more measured than that of many American politicians. In contrast to the predominantly Republican Senators, Representatives, Governors and presidential candidates (supported by some Democrats) who are issuing dire warnings of possible attacks on American soil if Syrian refugees are allowed into the United States, the officials who are actually in charge of our security see much less danger. Al Jazeera reports (on November 25):

"Conspicuously absent from the anti-refugee chorus, however, are the military officials and security experts whose jobs it is to actually keep the homeland safe. Nowhere was that more apparent than at last weekend's Halifax International Security Forum (HISF), and annual NATO-sponsored summit that is held on Canada's eastern seaboard and happened to fall a week after the Paris attacks. Whether on stage during discussions of the burgeoning ISIL threat, or in interviews on the sidelines, it was hard to find anyone who shared the alarmist warning that resettlement could provide a 'federally funded jihadi pipeline'...into the United States.

'We have systems in place to vet people and see where they're coming from' said Admiral Bill Gortney, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, during one discussion at HISF. ' Does that mean it's foolproof? No.' But ultimately, he said, 'it's a political decision.'"

See: As US politicians protest, security officials brush off refugee 'hysteria'

(I apologize for not being able to find the direct link to this article, which can be easily accessed through Google or by going to the Al Jazeera America website.)

Al Jazeera continues:

"The sober tone set by U.S., Canadian and other Western security officials at the forum lent credence to the arguments of refugee advocates, who have accused lawmakers of fear-driven xenophobia in the wake of Paris."

Possibly our politicians and media might serve the American public better, and make the US safer, if, instead of stoking up fear and prejudice against Muslim refugees (and Muslim-Americans in general), they concentrated on more immediate threats to our security, such as the ongoing violence and threats of violence against abortion providers, or the epidemic of killings of unarmed black teenagers by white policemen.
______________________________
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards.

Roger does not practice in the field of refugee or asylum law, but he believes that all immigrants are entitled to equal protection, fundamental fairness and basic human rights, and that denying these rights to any class of immigrants can lead to all other immigrants losing them as well.

Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com


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Updated 12-03-2015 at 11:21 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. Unregistered222's Avatar
    Oh my Roger, each time I read your article I lower the morals standards for you. But with each next article you still manage to crawl under them


    Since when this group of people is called "US security officials" and since when is NATO is responsible for screening Syrian refugees in the US? And if these "officials" really serious, why can't they answer how come they been all asleep at the switch when Boston marathon was blown to bits and pieces by Chechen refugee. Do they accept their total failure and voluntarily resign and forfeit all their salaries to help the Boston marathon victims. I guess they will not do such a thing ))))

    Now you become even funnier. Since when US Military "Admiral Bill Cortney, commander of the U.S. Northern Command (who is just a glorified aircraft pilot)" has anything to do with screening Syrian refugees? I thought that is mostly job for FBI and Director for National Intelligence, not some "Admiral". You really need to start getting your facts straight Roger in your mickey-mouse clubhouse articles.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    You may not like it, but these are still people who a good deal more about security than you do, At least (I assume), they are not ignorant or biased enough to call the Boston Marathon bombers refugees, which they were not. Their father was an asylee, and they came here as young children. Even a know-it all like yourself would not have been able to predict whether they would become radicalized after they grew up.

    There is an article that says that ISIS has been able to attract a cross section of all Americans, unfortunately, including even some Jews. If we want to defeat ISIS and prevent them from carrying out attacks here, we have to look at the reality. Mouthing anti-Muslim prejudices and falsehoods will not make us any safer. It can only help ISIS recruit more terrorists.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  3. Unregistered222's Avatar
    Well, as opposed to these garbage-type "experts" I am not being paid hundreds of $K of US taxpayers dollars a year to keep this country safe and then fail miserably at it. So, are these the same experts who were sleeping at the switch when these fake "refugee/asylee" types were going back and forth to and from Russia all the time after getting asylum status? And even when Russian FSB provided information that Tsarnaev's brothers are pretty much terrorist pieces of garbage who are up to no good - the same experts just happily continued to sleep at the switch. All this sleeping, laziness and outright incompetence resulted in innocent people being murdered during Boston marathon.

    Now, the same "security experts" will take on the job to weed out terrorists from Middle eastern refugees and will fail miserably again. Although the authority on that - FBI Director - already said that they cannot screen out the terrorists in the refugee flow from Syria as they simply do not have any data to screen against Another disaster in the making is unfolding right in front of our eyes and I wonder who gets the benefits of being blown up to bits and pieces by the "refugees" this time


    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    You may not like it, but these are still people who a good deal more about security than you do, At least (I assume), they are not ignorant or biased enough to call the Boston Marathon bombers refugees, which they were not. Their father was an asylee, and they came here as young children. Even a know-it all like yourself would not have been able to predict whether they would become radicalized after they grew up.

    There is an article that says that ISIS has been able to attract a cross section of all Americans, unfortunately, including even some Jews. If we want to defeat ISIS and prevent them from carrying out attacks here, we have to look at the reality. Mouthing anti-Muslim prejudices and falsehoods will not make us any safer. It can only help ISIS recruit more terrorists.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  4. Unregistered222's Avatar
    OMG Roger! Your Mozlem buddies just slaughtered another 14 infidels in California ))) This is getting really good now. Obama legacy is being shaped )))
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Without in any way trying to minimize the horror of this mass killing in America, there have been 354 mass shootings in the US this year so far by non-Muslims. What do you want to do about all those dangerous Christians or people with no religion, as the case may be? What is your proposal for keeping guns out of the hands of killers of any belief, or don't you care about American lives when the killers are not Muslims?

    It is still not known if an Islamist terror group such as ISIS was involved. No such group has as yet claimed responsibility.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 12-03-2015 at 05:38 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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