Feds Can’t Locate Thousands in the U.S. with Terror Connections

At House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing last week, Michele Thoren Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, admitted that the federal government has no idea of the whereabouts 9,500 foreign nationals whose visas have been revoked since 2001 because of suspected ties to terrorist organizations. When asked by Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) if federal authorities know where these potentially dangerous people are, Bond replied simply, “I don’t know.”

That revelation is startling for two reasons: First, obviously, the government doesn’t know if people it considers a threat to national security have actually left the country. And, second, it raises serious questions about how and why they were ever issued visas in the first place. If the government failed to identify 9,500 potentially dangerous individuals before granting them visas, then clearly we have some serious problems with our screening process.

But that was not the only disturbing revelation to come out of last week’s hearing. In the aftermath of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, it was discovered that Tafsheen Malik’s jihadist postings on social media were not flagged because the government does not look at these postings as part of its security review. Nevertheless, Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, could not say how or if his agency would review such postings in the future.

Astoundingly, Rodriguez cited difficulties in reviewing social media posts in foreign languages using different alphabets. Rodriguez’s statement would seem to indicate that the screening process is being carried out by DHS personnel who are not fluent in the languages of the people they are screening.

These explanations did not sit well even with committee Democrats. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) asked rhetorically, “If half the employers are doing it in the United States of America, if colleges are doing it for students, why wouldn’t Homeland Security do it?” Lynch added metaphorically, “We don’t even look at their public stuff, that’s what kills me.”

Actually, it killed 14 people in San Bernardino earlier this month.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    A muslim woman is under the control of males for her entire life. First is her father then her husband. Saudi Arabia still doesn’t allow women to drive.

    Every American female from the age of puberty and above should be required to watch Gert Wilders film “fitna” to understand what happens to little muslim girls. It is a disgrace that feminism has forced the end of discussing Islam and its effects on our current and future generations of girls. All in the name of political correctness and the progressive/liberal agenda of suppressing free speech.

  2. avatar

    The really big enablers of Islamic terrorism are the people like Hillary who make blanket statements like “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people”. No, they are not. Not when majorities in many Muslim countries think execution should be the result of leaving Islam. Nothing peaceful or tolerant about that. Liberals had a cow when Bill Maher said there’s a problem within Islam. But he’s right and those who refuse to acknowledge it contribute to the problem.

    I don’t know how any woman who claims to care so much about the equality of women can refuse to speak out about the second class status of Islamic women. They’re no better than property in many instances.