Anatomy of the terror threat: Files show hundreds of US plots, refugee connection
Newly obtained congressional data shows hundreds of terror plots have been stopped in the U.S. since 9/11 – mostly involving foreign-born suspects, including dozens of refugees.
The files are sure to inflame the debate over the Obama administration’s push to admit thousands more refugees from Syria and elsewhere, a proposal Donald Trump has vehemently opposed on the 2016 campaign trail.
“[T]hese data make clear that the United States not only lacks the ability to properly screen individuals prior to their arrival, but also that our nation has an unprecedented assimilation problem,” Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told President Obama in a June 14 letter, obtained by FoxNews.com.
The files also give fresh insight into the true scope of the terror threat and cover a wide range of cases, including:
A Seattle man plotting to attack a U.S. military facility
An Atlantic City man using his “Revolution Muslim” site to encourage confrontations with U.S. Jewish leaders “at their homes”
An Iraq refugee arrested in January, accused of traveling to Syria to “take up arms” with terror groups
While the June 12 massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub marked the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since 2001, the data shows America has been facing a steady stream of plots. For the period September 2001 through 2014, data shows the U.S. successfully prosecuted 580 individuals for terrorism and terror-related cases. Further, since early 2014, at least 131 individuals were identified as being implicated in terror.
Across both those groups, the senators reported that at least 40 people initially admitted to the U.S. as refugees later were convicted or implicated in terror cases.
Among the 580 convicted, they said, at least 380 were foreign-born. The top countries of origin were Pakistan, Lebanon and Somalia, as well as the Palestinian territories.