DHS, DOJ Link Terrorism and Immigration in Transparently Bogus Report


The Trump administration released a report on Tuesday that dubiously tied terrorism to immigration.

The analysis, released by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, was ordered by President Trump’s Executive Order 13780–the legal basis of the administration’s proposed Muslim ban.

“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality–our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed in a press release.

In their conclusion, the agencies relied on data focusing on convictions in federal courts since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks until the end of 2016. They said that 75 percent of the 402 individuals “convicted of international terrorism-related charges…were foreign born.”

The number, however, includes those not commonly thought of as immigrants: criminal suspects extradited to the United States, as Think Progress noted.

The DOJ and DHS statistic also excluded domestic extremism, which itself only accounts for a small percentage of all violent death in the United States.

According to the Government Accountability Office, right-wing and Islamist extremists are responsible for about an equal number of fatalities resulting from domestic terror attacks that took place from Sept. 12, 2001 until the end of 2016.

White nationalist militants killed 106 people in 62 incidents, while Islamist militants killed 119 people in 23 incidents, GAO found.

The latter includes the 41 people killed in a 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. by the New York-born Omar Mateen. In total, that year alone, there were about 11,000 gun-related homicides in the United States.

Executive Order 13780 was the second iteration of Trump’s proposed Muslim ban framework, first promised during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

The March 2017 order temporarily banned all travelers and visa applications from six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Although Tuesday’s report tying immigration to terrorism was spawned by the order, not one person from any of those countries has ever been found responsible for a fatal terrorism-related incident in the United States.

In September 2017, the Executive Order was expanded to include travel from Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, while permitting travel from Sudan. No known terrorist attacker has ever come to the US from Chad, North Korea or Venezuela.

Tuesday’s report also trumpeted the deportation of 1,716 people who registered vague “national security concerns” since the 9/11 attacks.

It additionally noted that, in fiscal year 2017, border security and customs officials “had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watch list (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database).”

That database has proven problematic and erroneous in the past, however.

As The Intercept reported in 2015, a classified DHS analysis found that nearly 20 percent of those “confirmed dead” by the National Counterterrorism Center “remained watchlisted” by the FBI Terrorist Screening Database.

Mateen had been on the database but was removed in 2014, as The Washignton Post noted. That year, there were 800,000 names registered on the database.

Share this article:

Follow The District Sentinel on Facebook and Twitter.

Subscribe to our daily podcast District Sentinel Radio on Soundcloud or Apple.

Support The District Sentinel and get bonus content on Patreon.

Since 2010, Sam Knight's work has appeared in Truthout, Washington Monthly, Salon, Mondoweiss, Alternet, In These Times, The Reykjavik Grapevine and The Nation. In 2012, he worked as a producer for The Alyona Show on RT. He has written extensively about political movements that emerged in Iceland after the 2008 financial collapse, and is currently working on a book about the subject.


Go to Top