In 2006, Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri was the Emir of an Al Qaeda terrorist group in Fallujah. The Iraqi city was the scene of brutal battles between Al Qaeda and America.
Only 2 years after being the Emir of an Al Qaeda group, Al-Nouri had traded the deserts of Al-Anbar for the deserts of the Southwest. How was an Al Qaeda leader able to move to the United States?
Easy. He claimed to be a refugee from Al Qaeda.
In 2008, the United States raised the refugee admission celling to 80,000 to accommodate the surge of Iraqis applying to come to the United States. The Iraqis claimed to be fleeing terrorism, but some, like Al-Nouri were terrorists, and our refugee resettlement program was not interested in telling them apart.
A quarter of refugees that year were Iraqis. The Al Qaeda leader was one of 13,823 Iraqi refugees. The huge increase from 1,608 in 2007, made any real screening of the Iraqis all but impossible. And, worse still, Iraqis, like Al-Nouri, were in the top 3 refugee groups and their claims were processed ‘in-country’.
“In-country processing”, as noted by the Center of American Progress, makes “the process less onerous and cumbersome for Iraqis seeking asylum by allowing for in-country visa processing, making screening less restrictive.” And what migrants from Al-Qaeda’s stronghold needed was less restrictive screenings.
And Al-Nouri, like many other fake refugees, pretended to be one of those imaginary Iraqis. He did such a good job of pretending that under Obama, the Al Qaeda leader became a military contractor.
After arriving in the United States as a refugee, the Al Qaeda leader applied for Social Security disability. Refugees applying for Social Security disability payments is a popular scam that hurts Americans.
Despite the Al Qaeda leader’s supposed disability, he was able to work as a military contractor in California and to open a driving school, the A-Plus Driving School, in Phoenix.
When Al-Nouri came to this country, Arizona was accepting the most refugees per capita of any state. Money for resettling refugees poured into the state which was happy to take in Muslims from Yugoslavia, then Sudan, and Iraq. The Iraqi community in Phoenix boomed. Along with Al-Nouri.
After the last September 11 anniversary, numerous Arizona representatives, including Republicans signed on to a Welcome Refugees 2020 letter, demanding that President Trump bring more refugees.
Meanwhile, in Phoenix, even as the Al Qaeda leader’s driving school was touting, “peace of mind”, the refugee belatedly attracted government attention after flying to Istanbul: a common ISIS travel route.
FBI agents questioned Al-Nouri and appeared to suspect that he might have traveled to Iraq.
Now, Al-Nouri was finally arrested for extradition to Iraq, where he is suspected of the murder of two Iraqi police officers as the leader of an Al Qaeda group operating in Fallujah.
Nemo me impune lacessit