Afghani Citizen and Former U.S. Military Interpreter Charged With Alien Smuggling
Once again national security is on the line.
With all of the emphasis on the lack of security along the U.S./Mexican border, most Americans have forgotten that the immigration system consists of many elements and that failures of the immigration system may profoundly impact nearly every challenge and threat that America and Americans face in this dangerous and challenging era.
To be clear, the Mexican border must be secured against the un-inspected entry of aliens and contraband, however, this is not an “either/or” problem. We also must also understand the other ways that multiple failures of the immigration system endanger our safety and wellbeing.
Indeed, the lack of integrity to the entire immigration system is a reflection of the lack of integrity of our politicians.
On August 2, 2019 the Justice Department posted an extremely worrying news release, Afghanistan National and Former U.S. Military Interpreter Charged for Role in Human Smuggling Conspiracy.
Here is an excerpt from the DOJ press release:
Mujeeb Rahman Saify, 32, is an Afghanistan national who received a Special Immigrant Visa and became a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident in 2009, after serving as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Since 2009, Saify has resided in New York and Newark. Saify was charged in the District of New Jersey with conspiracy to smuggle aliens to the United States, encouraging and inducing alien smuggling, and attempting to bring aliens to the United States.
According to the indictment, between July 2016 through January 2017, Saify conspired with members of an Afghanistan and Pakistan-based smuggling network to smuggle two Afghanistan nationals to the United States. The Afghanistan nationals did not have prior authorization to enter the United States and one had been denied a U.S. visa. The indictment alleges that Saify made contact with the aliens and arranged meetings with the co-conspirators to discuss smuggling arrangements. Further, according to the indictment, Saify received payment, gave instructions to the aliens to facilitate the smuggling venture, and he used email and phone communications to facilitate and coordinate the criminal operation.
Additional information about this case was provided on that same day in the Washington Times article, Afghan Immigrant Indicted For Trying To Smuggle Migrants Through Mexico Into U.S.
Here is a salient excerpt from that Washington Times report:
Authorities have publicly identified two migrants they say Mr. Saify was responsible for smuggling, including Wasiq Ullah Hedayat, the man flagged for security issued when he was encountered at the U.S. border in Texas. Like Mr. Saify, Mr. Hedayat was a translator for U.S. troops, but was fired in 2014 and was barred from even entering any U.S. base, according to court documents.
He later applied for a visa to the U.S. but was denied.
One of the migrants had applied to come to the U.S. before but had been denied a visa. It’s not clear if that was Mr. Hedayat or the other smuggled migrant, who was not named.
Prosecutors said Mr. Saify worked for a Pakistan-based smuggling network. He charged Mr. Hedayat $10,000 for his journey, while the other migrant, identified in court documents by initials A.H., paid $6,000.
Mr. Saify arranged for his customers to fly to Brazil, where they then made their way up Latin America to the U.S.-Mexico border, and attempted to enter.
This particular case involves multiple extremely serious issues.
To begin with, Saify is currently a lawful immigrant who was granted his lawful immigrant status because of his work as an interpreter, overseas, for the U.S. military.
That he stands accused of smuggling aliens into the United States calls into question the vetting process that preceded Saify’s employment by our military as an interpreter. It must be presumed that he had been granted a security clearance.
All of the cases in which he provided his “services” must now be carefully reviewed to make certain that he did not mislead our officials.
Interpreters have access to extremely sensitive national security materials that may well include documents, informants and agents.
Interpreters act as the “eyes, ears and mouths” of the members of the military and intelligence and law enforcement agencies requiring that they interact not only with the government personnel but with informants and those individuals who provide what is referred to as “human intelligence” and also have access to documents that need to be translated and/or used in conjunction with an interview/interrogation.
A malfeasant interpreter may not only become aware of the individuals who provide intelligence, placing those people and their families in mortal danger, but may also not provide accurate translations of the discussion they participate in. This would enable such a bad actor to lie and thus provide disinformation while learning the information pertaining to national security that our governing is seeking.
This can endanger the lives of informants and cooperators as well as members of our armed forces and or the lives of government agents and law enforcement officers and, long term, may enable terrorists to carry out deadly attacks not only abroad, but inside the United States.
Moving on to the fact that he is accused of smuggling aliens through Brazil is of particular concern. As I noted in an earlier article, Jihadis And Drug Cartel At Our Border the “Tri-Border region of Brazil (at the junction of the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay) is known for terror training camps run by Hezbollah and likely al Qaeda and other Middle-Eastern terrorist organizations and was the focus of the paper, Islamist Terrorist Threat in the Tri-Border Region that was published by Jeffrey Fields, Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
While there have been no published information about whether or not the aliens in this case went to those training camps, the fact that they were moved through Brazil is of great concern and should be of great concern to our political leaders. Let us also not lose sight that these aliens are citizens of “Special Interest Countries,” that is to say, countries associated with terrorism.
What has also been disclosed in news reports about this case is that one of the aliens Saify is alleged to have attempted to smuggle into the United States had also been employed by the U.S. military as an interpreter until his position was terminated and he was barred from entering U.S. military bases when it was discovered that he was purportedly working for a hostile government.
If the allegations prove to be true, it must be presumed that the goals of these aliens included undermining our national security. This betrayal could not possibly more serious or dangerous.
Finally we need to focus on how, incredibly, Democrat presidential candidates have openly called for the dismantling of ICE and the decriminalization of our immigration laws that would, in effect, eradicate the borders of the United States even as huge quantities of narcotics, members of transnational gangs and international terrorists flow across our borders each and every day.
The late and very effective and resourceful criminal defense attorney, Johnnie Cochran who is probably best remembered for successfully defending O.J. Simpson admonished the jury in that case, “If you cannot trust the messenger, you cannot trust the message.”
Today I would suggest that we should flip that bit of advice sideways and apply it to those politicians who seek to undermine border security and immigration law enforcement- if you cannot trust the message, you cannot trust the messenger!