On Tuesday, October 31, 2017 New York City suffered a deadly terror attack on a well-known and heavily used bike path in lower Manhattan, just blocks from what, in the wake of the terror attacks of 9⁄11, had come to be known as “Ground Zero.”
The perpetrator of this heinous savage attack is a 29-year-old citizen of Uzbekistan, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who reportedly legally immigrated to the United States in 2010 subsequent to winning the Diversity Visa Lottery.
Consequently, attention immediately turned to the Diversity Visa Program that annually enables approximately 50,000 aliens annually to enter the United States as lawful immigrants.
Aliens who participate in this visa lottery are citizens of countries that send the United States the smallest number of lawful immigrants. These aliens do not need to possess any special skills or abilities and do not need to have any family ties to the United States.
There is no application fee for this category of immigrant visa. Under this program apparently being “diverse” is all that matters. This does absolutely nothing to benefit America or Americans and therefore must be terminated.
The State Department provides a table for Fiscal Years 2007-2016 for “Immigrant Number Use for Visa Issuances and Adjustments of Status in the Diversity Immigrant Category.”
Clearly, more than 16 years after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the “All Clear” has not sounded and the “War on Terror” continues on as more innocent victims are slaughtered. Nevertheless, there are members of Congress who have recently questioned the legal authority known as AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists) being used by President Trump to deploy members of the U.S. Armed Forces to wage war against ISIS, Al Qaeda and related deadly terrorist organizations. AUMF was passed by Congress just days after the attacks of 9⁄11.
Ironically, the latest deadly terror attack in New York City was carried out even as some members of Congress were publicly questioning AUMF, incredibly complaining that it gives President Trump too much discretion to deploy our armed forces to fight terrorist organizations that seek to kill as many Americans as possible, especially within our own borders.
Those politicians must not have gotten the memo that wars and armed conflicts do not end because leaders unilaterally wish that the wars or conflicts would end. Wars only end when both sides agree to a cease-fire or a more permanent solution is reached. Peace can only be achieved when the aggressors are forced to cease hostile actions. Invariably, this requires the demonstration of unwavering resolve. This requires the use, or threat of use, of overwhelming force.
The United States has no alternative.
Under the leadership of the Trump administration Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Taliban and other related terror organizations are facing military pressure that is forcing them out of their strongholds in Syria, but they are not laying down their arms. Instead they are dispersing around the world determined to use terrorism as a means of continuing the battles within the borders of other countries.
The United States is the country that terrorists are most determined to attack. The borders of the United States are our first line of defense and last line of defense against these savage terrorists.
It is therefore more than a little ironic that, while the administration’s plans to construct a secure wall also the U.S./Mexican border are denounced by many political “leaders,” just two days after this latest deadly terror attack in Manhattan NBC News reported that New York City is installing barrier walls along the west side highway bike path.
That wall to protect the bike path is, however, largely cosmetic. It will do nothing to stop terrorists from ramming vehicles into pedestrians crossing intersections or walking on sidewalks throughout New York City
A wall on the border, however, would constitute a significant element of what needs to be a cohesive and coordinated strategy to prevent the entry of terrorists, criminals and contraband into the United States.
In point of fact, the 9⁄11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel detailed numerous instances where terrorists made use of visa and immigration benefit fraud to enter the United States also to embed themselves in the United States.
Page 54 contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot.”
Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.
In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9⁄11 attack.
Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9⁄11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
Intensifying efforts to maintain so-called “sanctuary cities” hobble efforts to enforce our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States and thus are Ignoring the 9⁄11 Commission warnings.
Additionally, President Trump’s executive order to prevent terrorists from entering the United States which has come to be referred to as the “Travel Ban” is actually known as the Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.
The courts, including the Supreme Court, has block the implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order which parallels existing federal law, Section (f) of 8 U.S. Code § 1182, and has been invoked by prior Presidents including Carter, Bush (43) and Obama.
The war on terror has multiple fronts. To win we must fight the war on terror here, there and everywhere.
Furthermore, where the entry of international terrorists into the United States is concerned, since the attacks of 9⁄11 other terrorists have also entered with a variety of visas.
To mention just two of many such instances, consider the San Bernardino terror attack perpetrated by Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Farook was an native-born American whose parents came to the United States from Pakistan. Malik was born in Saudi Arabia, moved to Pakistan and then was granted a K-1 fiancé visa pursuant an application filed by Farook.
On December 2, 2015 they carried out a savage terror attack which resulted in the slaughter of 14 innocent victims and the wounding of 22 more victims. It is theorized that she may have radicalized her husband.
The Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the deadly terror attack at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, had entered the United States with their family and were subsequently granted political asylum which then enabled them to acquire lawful immigrant status. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving younger of the two brothers has been convicted for his crimes and has been sentenced to be executed. He became a naturalized citizen shortly before the attacks. Applicants for naturalization are supposed to undergo a Good Moral Character investigation. Clearly this vetting process failed.
Indeed, there are numerous failures of the immigration system that, although were identified by the 9⁄11 Commission, have yet to be effectively addressed.
Ironically, just a couple of weeks before the latest attack, my article Homeland Security Uncovers Massive Immigration Failures that focused on two DHS Inspector General reports that detailed dire immigration failures.
Clearly it can be stated that DHS Ineptitude Facilitates Terrorist Operations.
In the weeks and months after the attacks of 9⁄11 our leaders constantly reminded us that for the terrorists to succeed, they (the terrorists) need only “get it right” once. On the other hand, in order to protect Americans from terror attacks, our officials needed to be right 100% of the time.
Every time an alien gains entry into the United States, either legally or illegally, terror groups are provided with an opportunity to infiltrate the United States.
In this perilous age, this is the equivalent of the deadly game of “Russian Roulette.”
Hope is not a strategy, the President must be given the resources to defend our nation and our citizens and those resources must extend well beyond our borders.
ICE agents need to have the cooperation of local and state police in enforcing our laws and to cultivate informants and cooperators within ethnic immigrant communities. This is not a new concept, but an old one. It was how my colleagues and I routinely operated back when I first became an INS special agent decades ago. It not only helped to keep America and Americans safe, but especially helped to keep the immigrants in every ethnic immigrant community safe.