March 5, 2017 A new multi agency Homeland Security report released last week contradicts President Trump’s argument that banning citizens from predominantly Muslim countries will make America safer. Despite the findings of this report and several other independent studies–President Trump is expected to sign a new version of the controversial immigration banP on Monday.
The analysis revealed that most foreign-born violent extremists are radicalized a decade after entering the United States. Therefore, profiling and vetting are not effective counterterrorism strategies. The report, dated March 1, 2017, was prepared by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis in coordination with the State Department, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, National Counterterrorism Center and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The report concluded
“We assess that most foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States … limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of National Security concerns.”
In his first address before Congress on February 28, President Trump warned of “radical Islamic terrorism” — against the advice of his new national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who urged him to leave the term “radical Islamic terrorism” out of the speech. Trump maintains the exucutive orders on immigration are aimed at keeping potential terrorists out of the country.
President Trump’s original executive order, signed shortly after his inauguration banning all citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries was struck down by a federal court in Seattle. The White House announced a new version of the executive order will be signed on Monday, according to senior administration officials. The new immigration ban will temporarily halt citizens of Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria from entering the United States and a temporary pause on all refugees and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.
In his first appearance before the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security o John Kelly admitted it is not known if the immigration ban will prevent terrorist attacks. When Rep. Bernie Thompson (D-Miss) asked Secretary Kelly if the ban would keep bad guys out of the country? Kelly replied, “not until the boom.”
In 2010, then U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano testified that the terrorism threat had evolved. Napolitano and a panel of experts told lawmakers the biggest threat to the homeland is no longer thousands of miles away in a cave but American born terrorist sympathizers, “lone wolf” terrorist aka homegrown terrorist with no formal ties to terrorist organizations–already here legally.
In 2011, then U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Peter King warned lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the threat of Muslim radicalization in U.S. prisons. Rep. King said Muslim-American inmates are increasingly becoming radicalized at the hands of jailed terrorists and extremist imam chaplains.
Some international and national security experts say it is difficult if not impossible to prevent future attacks. Therefore, the focus of resources should be on the response, recovery and resilience of a community after an attack occurs.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."