Fazliddin Kurbanov: Terrorist 'Refugee'
A case study in Obama's refugee folly.
The fecklessness of the Obama administration’s despicable “refugee” agenda can be personified. Last August a federal jury convicted Uzbek refugee Fazliddin Kurbanov of three terror-related charges that included working to support a terrorist organization and amassing explosive materials in his apartment in Boise, ID.
Kurbanov is a Russian-speaking truck driver originally from Uzbekistan who began his life as a Muslim. When his parents converted to Orthodox Christianity, the family was subjected to government persecution and they fled to nearby Kazakhstan. In 2009 his parents came to the Unites States, followed shortly thereafter by Kurbanov, his wife and his son in August 2009.
According to court testimony, Kurbanov was a practicing Christian until he went to Denver in search of work in 2010. While there he met and took up residence with some fellow Uzbek men who were practicing Muslims. Kurbanov reconverted to Islam and returned to Boise. In 2011 he began making terror-related searches on the Internet. Two years later, federal agents searched his apartment where they found evidence that the former refugee was stockpiling explosive materials and communicating with the Taliban-linked Movement of Uzbekistan. According to the FBI, Kurbanov intended to launch a domestic bomb attack, with military bases and a park in Boise being cited as potential targets.
Kurbanov’s trial in Idaho lasted 20 days with a jury convicting him of three terror-related counts and acquitting him of two others. He faces 10 years in prison for the explosive device conviction and as much as 15 years in jail for the other two. In addition, he faces another charge in Utah for distributing information related to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction, arising from his efforts to teach another individual how to build an explosive device. “He taught another person in Utah to build a bomb with the intent to use the bomb,” explained U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber. If he is convicted in that case, Kurbanov faces an additional 40 years in prison.
Writing for KTVB.com, anchor and reporter Kim Fields reminds Americans that Kurbanov “would have gone through the federal screening process,” and that court testimony indicates no red flags would have been raised “because there is no indication Kurbanov was involved in terrorism when he first arrived in the U.S.”
That would be the same vetting process Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes was sent out to promote with regard to Syrian refugees. “There’s a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security,” he told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd. “So we can make sure we’re carefully screening anybody who comes to the United States.”
Apparently, FBI Director James Comey didn’t get the proverbial memo. “We can only query against that which we have collected,” explained the man whose agency is now conducting nearly 1,000 domestic investigations against ISIS. “And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) associate director for the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate Matthew Emrich was equally “ill-informed,” asserting the administration checked “everything that we are aware of” before falling back on the pathetic excuse that “in many countries of the world from which we have traditionally accepted refugees over the years the United States government did not have extensive data holdings.” The same goes for FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach, who also admitted that in a “failed state” like Syria “all of the data sets — the police, the intel services — that normally you would go to seek information don’t exist.”
This is hardly a new problem. In 2013, ABC News reported several dozen suspected terrorists were allowed to move to the United States after they claimed “refugee” status, including two Iraqi al-Qaeda terrorists living in Kentucky who had attacked American troops. The administration’s solution to that problem? The State Department suspended processing Iraqi refugees for all of six months.
Yet Kurbanov’s case speaks to other issues as well. Even an air-tight vetting process is completely useless when the filter of political correctness cherished by progressives is added to the mix. The FBI received multiple warnings from Russia about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, resulting in a single interview of the Boston Marathon bomber in 2011, after which they concluded he posed no threat. The same Obama administration ignored numerous red flags regarding the increasing radicalization of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, and even after the atrocity referred to the incident as “workplace violence.” Another terrorist attack virtually swept under the media rug was perpetrated by Kuwati Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, who killed four Marines and wounded two other service members and a police officer during two separate attacks at Tennessee military facilities last July. The FBI told CBS News Abdulazeez was “not on their radar” and that it remained “unclear” whether he was a citizen. Follow up stories attributed his killing spree to depression as well as alcohol and drug abuse, according to his family — despite the fact he targeted military facilities.
Even more ominously, Kurbanov’s conviction speaks to the Obama administration’s disastrous foreign policy. Despite the president’s utterly absurd assertions both before and after the attack in Paris that ISIS is “contained,” there is no denying the terror group is a recruiting machine. A U.N. report released in April revealed the number of recruits leaving their more than 100 different countries to join ISIS had skyrocketed to more than 25,000. Moreover, their latest propaganda video shows images of New York City spliced between clips of suicide bombers preparing for attacks. A message flashing across the screen warns Americans that what’s coming “will be far worse and more bitter” than the Paris atrocity.
In other words, ISIS remains an incredibly viable and attractive entity, not only to sleeper agents that would undoubtedly be some percentage of the people this administration wants to bring into America, but to the disaffected people who are already here. Disaffected people exactly like Fazliddin Kurbanov and countless others who view the administration’s flaccidly nonsensical approach to ISIS as proof that the terror group is the stronger horse. Add the progressive insanity that asserts anyone resisting Syrian immigration is a bigot, xenophobe or Islamophobe to the mix, and it becomes clear this administration and its adherents are willing to abide an “acceptable level” of domestic terror to preserve political correctness.
In short, progressives are terrorism’s willing accomplices.
On Thursday, it was revealed that two U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials alleged to Breitbart News that eight Syrian illegals were arrested after they tried to enter Texas from Mexico. Another six Syrian men with stolen Greek passports were detained in Honduras. They too were on their way to the United States. President Obama has threatened to veto a GOP-sponsored bill that would suspend Syrian and Iraqi refugee emigration into the U.S. until key national security agencies can certify they pose no security risk.
Former President George W. Bush once stated that “those who want to do harm only have to be right one time, and we have to be right 100 percent of the time.” Given the nation’s porous borders, coupled with the president’s stance on Syrian refugees and his obdurate refusal to confront ISIS in any meaningful way, it is time to ask the Obama administration why it is so willing to tip the odds even further in ISIS’s favor.
Originally published at FrontPage Magazine.