Remember when President Obama mocked Republicans for their fear of Syrian refugees, whom he characterized as harmless women and children? Ah, the good old days.
Well, you have to wonder what Mr. Obama is thinking this week as the Department of Justice announces charges against Syrian refugee Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, who is neither a woman nor a child. Nor, according to the arrest record, is he harmless. The 21-year-old Muslim is accused of plotting a terrorist attack against a Christian church in Pittsburgh “to support the cause of ISIS and to inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States.”
Aren’t you glad we took this guy in and gave him safe harbor?
From ABC News:
According to the criminal complaint, Alowemer was born in Daraa, Syria and was admitted to the U.S. as a refugee in August 2016.
He allegedly provided “multiple instructional documents” on how to build improvised explosive devices, referred to as IEDs, to an undercover FBI agent who he believed was a fellow ISIS supporter, according to the DOJ.
The complaint also alleges that Alowemer further detailed his plans and support for ISIS and jihad in social media communications.
“Alowemer also distributed propaganda materials, offered to provide potential targets in the Pittsburgh area, requested a weapon with a silencer, and recorded a video of himself pledging an oath of allegiance to the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” the DOJ said in a statement.
The DOJ also said Alowemer had drafted a “10-point handwritten plan” related to a plot to bomb the church, and printed out copies of satellite maps from Google which he provided to a source working for the FBI as well as an undercover FBI employee.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said, “Court documents show Alowemer planned to attack a church in the name of ISIS, which could have killed or injured many people. Fortunately, his plans were foiled by the full force of the FBI Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force. The FBI takes threats to churches and other religious institutions extremely seriously and will use all our resources to stop potential terrorist attacks against them.”
Only a few days after taking office, President Trump signed an executive order whose title said it all: “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals.” While later challenged in the courts, the order banned people from several Middle Eastern countries (including Syria) from obtaining visas, and it reduced America’s refugee cap from 110,000 a year to 50,000.
In practice, the Trump administration has been even stricter in its admission of refugees – so far in fiscal year 2019, the U.S. has admitted only about 18,000 refugees. People like Mustafa Alowemer explain why.