Alleged member of Hezbollah arrested in Texas- seeking naturalization and a security clearance

Hi Gang:
On Friday, May 24, 2013 two relatively small newspapers, The Blaze and My San Antonio, reported on the arrest of an individual by the name of Wissam Allouche by the FBI and members of the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) in San Antonio, Texas, for lying on his application for naturalization to acquire United States citizenship. 
While his application for naturalization was apparently not approved and he was arrested and indicted for committing fraud in filing that application- what no one has pointed out is that he had been a lawful immigrant for years.  He apparently had a Green Card.  He did, in fact successfully beat the immigration system.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Alleged-member-of-Hezbollah-arrested-here-4547483.php

The title for the Blaze headline was a true attention grabber:

“Infiltration? The Alarming Details Surrounding Alleged Hezbollah Member’s Arrest in Texas”

Here is an important excerpt from the article:

The federal indictment revealed Allouche had married a U.S. citizen and was going through the naturalization process when he was arrested. When asked by officials if he had ever been associated with a terrorist organization, he replied no. That apparently turned out to be a lie.

According to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, he was a militant with the Amal militia in Lebanon in the early to mid-1980s. He was reportedly captured as a Israeli prisoner of war, but was later released to become a commander of the Amal militia.

“News reports at the time said Hezbollah was formed by religious members of the Amal movement,” the Express-News notes.

In addition to lying about his terror ties, Allouche is also accused of lying about his relationship with his ex-wife. He falsely claimed on his application forms in 2009 that he and his wife were married and living together for the past three years. In reality, they had no lived together since May 2007 and they filed for divorce in December of 2007.

At the time of his arrest Allouche was applying for a security clearance in order to work for the Department of Defense and had also applied for naturalization.   Allegedly he lied by claiming to have never been a member of a terrorist organization when in fact,, according to the FBI, he had been a member of Hezbollah.
He also is charged with lying about his marriage to a United States citizen which enabled him to acquire lawful immigrant status.
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013 both of those newspapers published follow-up reports in conjunction with disclosures made by prosecutors during the bail hearing.  Here are the links to these news reports:
Here is a quote from the latest My San Antonio news report about Allouche:

Allouche was arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force here last week after being indicted on charges of not disclosing, during his quest to obtain his U.S. citizenship, his membership in the Amal militia and Hezbollah in Lebanon in the 1980s.

He’s also charged with not disclosing his prior membership in those groups when he applied for a security clearance with the Defense Department as he sought a contracting job.

Before 2009, Allouche worked for L-3 Communications, which provides linguistic services for the U.S. military, and he was deployed for several months to Iraq. He has lived in the U.S. since about 2002, and once owned Windcrest Mobil, a gas station at Walzem Road and Interstate 35, his lawyer said.

In view of the charges lodged against Allouche, it would be important to know what the vetting process was that enabled him to be put in a position of trust.
I would be greatly concerned about what documents or people he may have had access to.  Did he come to meet with covert officers whose identities must be preserved?  Did he meet with suspected terrorists and, perhaps, have the capability to alter what the record reflects that they did or did not say?  Might he have learned the identities of foreign nationals who for whatever reason decided to become cooperators?  Has this endangered their lives and the operations that they were providing information for?
The bottom line is that USCIS is currently processing applications without face-to-face interviews for hundreds of thousands of DACA applicants and that every year that beleaguered and thoroughly inept and overwhelmed agency processes more than 6 million applications including more than a half million applications for United States citizenship.
While the “Gang of Eight” of, as I prefer to refer to them as the “Eight Gangsters” have everyone focusing on the US/Mexican border no one is even mentioning immigration fraud.  However, the 9/11 Commission identified immigration fraud as the embedding tactic of choice for terrorists.  I have testified before numerous Congressional hearings about this “ gaping hole in the bottom of the boat!”
In fact, I raised this very issue when I was interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News on May 2nd and we talked about how the Tsarnaev brothers apparently lied on their applications for political asylum.
Here is a link to the video of that interview:

Immigration Expert: The System Failed in Boston and Keeps on Failing

Coincidentally, about thirty minutes before I received that e-mail containing the link to the Blaze news report on May 24th from a former colleague at the INS, who is also a retired senior special agent, I finished writing a commentary for CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) in which I described foreign nationals who enter the United States (or any other country for that matter) in order to engage in terrorism, espionage or as members of transnational criminal organizations or gangs as infiltrators.  In my commentary (a copy of which I have pasted at the bottom of this e-mail) I noted that the multitude of failures of the immigration system fly in the face of the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission as do the current efforts to provide hundreds of thousands of aliens with identity documents and employment authorization, under the DACA program (Deferred Action- Childhood Arrival) mirroring the salient components of the failed DREAM Act.  (Comprehensive Immigration Reform also ignores all of the 9/11 Commission findings and recommendations.) 
The word “Infiltration” contained in the Blaze headline certainly caught my attention as did the facts surrounding this case.
Certainly this was an interesting coincidence.  I have provided you with my commentary for CAPS below.  I expect it will be posted on their website soon.

The lack of integrity in the adjudications process was the focus of clear concerns of the 9/11 Commission, and the 9/11 Commission staff noted in their report.

This paragraph is found on page 98 under the title “Immigration Benefits:”

Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.

Page 47 of the above-noted report contained the following paragraph:

Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida. Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.”

Fraud has been a huge issue for USCIS and to now expect that agency to effectively cope with the potential onslaught of millions, if not tens of millions of applications for lawful status under the aegis of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” would do irreparable harm to national security.    
While it is important that many things be done in conjunction with the enforcement of the immigration laws, the use of many of the enforcement tools are undermined by the current lack of integrity in the immigration benefits program.  While mandatory E-Verify would be an important step, it too will be all but meaningless if Comprehensive Immigration Reform was to be enacted.  The only thing comprehensive about Comprehensive Immigration Reform is that it would comprehensively include the vast majority of illegal aliens present in the United States or who would be willing to evade the inspections process in the near future and claim to meet the qualifications to participate in that massive amnesty program.  They would be provided with official identity documents that will enable them to easily sail through the vetting process that E-Verify creates.
If Comprehensive Immigration Reform is enacted there will be no “do-overs!”
We must learn the lessons of history or be doomed to relieve the mistakes of history!
Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts nearly every challenge and threat confronting the United States today!  

Our armed forces are charged with securing America’s borders externally while the DHS is supposed to secure those same borders from within.  The failures of the DHS to live up to its half of the equation are undermining the efforts, valor and incredible sacrifices of Americas men and women who serve in our military!The immigration laws are supposed to achieve two primary goals- to protect American lives and protect Americans’ jobs. 

Our nation is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations!

It is also vital that American workers never be made to compete with foreign workers for their jobs!  (This requirement is a component of the Immigration Laws that are not being enforced today!)

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws that are intended to protect our nation and our citizens concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

I also ask that you pass this e-mail along to your friends and neighbors- I am attempting to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

We the People must make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!


-michael cutler- 

Please check out my website:

http://michaelcutler.net/

       

Also please check out my website at AND Magazine:



On Friday evenings from 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM Eastern Time, I host my show, “The Michael Cutler Hour” on the USA Talk Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio.

Call in and join the conversation!  The phone number is 310-982-4145

I hope you will be listening!  (Please tell your friends and neighbors!)

Here is a link to the program:


Here is my commentary for CAPS:




Comprehensive Immigration Reform Completely Ignores the 9/11 Commission Findings”

Michael W. Cutler, Senior Special Agent, INS (Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Californians for Population Stabilization


All of the discussions about Comprehensive Immigration Reform has utterly ignored the underlying purposes of America’s immigration laws- to protect innocent lives and the jobs of American workers.

The armed forces of the United States are tasked with securing America’s borders externally by keeping our enemies as far from our shores as possible. When aliens, who have not been screened through the inspections process, enter the United States there is no record of their entry and there is no way of knowing how many there are nor what their backgrounds or ultimate goals are.

When terrorists or enemy combatants enter a country they have targeted for attack or other hostile action, the entry of such foreigners is referred to as infiltration. Today the United States has no true idea as to how many such foreign terrorists, combatants or transnational criminals have infiltrated the United States. The administration’s current insane policy of not seeking to identify or locate and arrest aliens who, for reasons unknown, have entered the United States illegally by evading the inspections process, makes it easy for terror sleeper agents to embed themselves in the United States as they go about achieving their pernicious goals. Some may well be going about their preparations for launching attacks inside the United States while others may seeking to engage in fundraising for terrorist organizations or carrying out other relatively small missions to engage in surveillance of providing lodging for those who are engaged in other components of operations in support of terrorism.

Just as only a very small percentage of all members of the U.S. Air Force who proudly wear the uniforms of the Air Force are actually pilots, only a tiny percentage of members of terrorist organizations actually carry out hijackings or other such violent attacks.

The lack of integrity in the adjudications process was the focus of clear concerns of the 9/11 Commission, and the 9/11 Commission staff noted it in their report, 9/11 AND TERRORIST TRAVEL: Staff Report of the National Commission onTerrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

This paragraph is found on page 98 under the title “Immigration Benefits:”

Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.

Page 47 of the above-noted report contained the following paragraph:

Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida. Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.”

I bolded the key sentence in the previous paragraph, “Their primary method was immigration fraud.”

There is absolutely nothing in Comprehensive Immigration Reform that addresses immigration fraud, the primary tool for terrorists to embed themselves in the United States. In fact, at present, the adjudications officers at USCIS are processing hundreds of thousands of “undocumented” aliens who may be as old as 31 years of age, for participation in the DACA (Deferred Action- Childhood Arrivals) also known as the DREAMERS without even doing face to face interviews or having the resources to do actual field investigations.

On July 27, 2006 I testified before a hearing called by the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims.

The topic of that hearing was:

WHETHER THE ATTEMPTED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REID-KENNEDY IMMIGRATION BILL WILL RESULT IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE AND NATIONAL SECURITY NIGHTMARE

During my testimony I included the following statement:

    A few days before a terrorist carries out an attack, he is in fact likely to hide in plain sight by going to his job. If our Government makes it that much easier for a terrorist to legally get a job under an assumed identity, then Al Qaida should give the people in our Government who make this possible the MVP award.

What I said then is certainly just as applicable today.


doc iconBlog- Comprehensive Immigration Reform Completely Ignores the 9:11 Commission Findings – May 26, 2013.doc