A failed Oregon bomb plot is cited in President Trump’s new travel plan. It uses this as a justification for keeping specific immigrants out of the US. But, it does not mention who actually prevented it… refugees.
“Hundreds of persons born abroad” is the phrase used to distinguish which individuals are unwelcome here, according to the executive order. The claims are that these immigrant have been convicted of crimes related to terrorism since the attacks on 9/11.
But, there are some crucial details that were left out about the event that led to the foiled Oregon bombing plot. The former U.S. Attorney for Oregon notes that the local refugee community was a vital part of the plans to alert the FBI, as well as helping with investigating the plot.
The executive order mentions “hundreds of persons born abroad” who have been convicted of terrorism charges since the 9/11 attacks, but only cites two specific examples for its argument.
One of them is a Somali refugee’s botched attempt in 2010 to attack a Christmas event in Portland.
“In October 2014, a native of Somalia who had been brought to the United States as a child refugee and later became a naturalized United States citizen was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction as part of a plot to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon,” the section reads.
But crucial details about that event are left out.
The convict in question, Mohamed Mohamud, was in fact planning to ravage a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony with a car bomb.
But undercover federal agents oversaw his plans and gave him dummy bombs — leaving him with no chance of harming anyone before his arrest.
The former U.S. Attorney for Oregon pointed out that the local refugee community — including Mohamud’s father — played a major part in alerting the FBI and helping them investigate the bomb plot.
“The assistance of the refugee community was crucial to this investigation,” Dwight Holton, who prosecuted Mohamud, told Portland Patch.
He also argued that the failed terrorist’s status as a refugee was in no way connected to the carnage he concocted.
“His radicalization had precisely nothing to do with his refugee status,” Holton said.
“He didn’t radicalize until much later. His interest in terrorism had absolutely nothing to do with his refugee status. He was radicalized long after he became a United States citizen.”
The only other example cited in that passage of Trump’s travel plan is two Iraqi nationals who were sentenced in 2013 for terrorism offenses that did not lead to any deaths or injuries. That incident is what White House counselor Kellyanne Conway infamously called the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre.” Ironically, Iraq is the only country from the original travel ban that is left out of the new version.
The revised travel ban halts new visas for citizens of six majority-Muslim countries — Somalia, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also puts a 120-day suspension on America’s refugee intake.
Citizens of those six countries have not been connected to any instances of terrorism deaths on American soil. But both of Trump’s travel bans have exempted others countries, including Saudi Arabia, which have in fact produced terrorists who carried out deadly attacks in America, including 9/11.