The State Department asylum approach is obviously broken. Between 1983 and 2004, 55,000 Somali’s entered the United States thanks to the broken U.S. State Department asylum initiative. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Somali youth have turned to gang life. It is known that at least 45 Somali males who once lived freely inside the United States have returned to their motherland of Somalia to fight alongside the Al Qaeda affiliate, Al Shabaab.
Somali gang members living inside the U.S. are often targeted by local Imams. Disenfranchisement, due to confusing identity crises they face not knowing whether they are American, Somali, or Islamists, has made them key targets for Jihadi recruitment. They become easily manipulated and socially conditioned. Because they lack parental influence and social acceptance, they become key assets to later be brainwashed, used, and killed.
Shy of Christmas 2010, Somali-American Mohamed Osman Mohamud was arrested for plotting a terrorist attack in Portland, Oregon. His target was any and all Americans celebrating the city Christmas tree lighting ceremony. He was recruited by a Middle Easterner, manipulated, and socially conditioned like many Somali youth living inside the United States. His family was one of thousands of Somali families granted asylum to live inside the United States.
While not asylum related, last summer, when attending language training at Lackland AFB, seventeen Afghan pilots went AWOL inside the United States. This was also another U.S. State Department led initiative in coordination with other U.S. government institutions. There is an obvious trend.
Based on the obvious, it’s fair to assume that with due time, the United States government will implement some type of asylum program for the people of Libya. Will these individuals turn to gang life similar to MS 13 or any of the seventeen plus Somali gangs, like the Madhibaan with Attitude? Of most concern, will any of the Libyans skip the U.S. gang life as the “Ft Dix Six” did and simply engage in Jihad? If they do turn to Islamic Jihad, what will stop them from emulating Mohamed Osman Mohamud engaging Jihad deep inside the heartland of America?
Asylum is needed, it is deserving, and it must be done with security in mind. Many would assume that advanced government initiatives need to be instituted for the asylees and maybe they do. The United States is a country embraced by “We the People.” Our government should not be relied upon rather “We the People” need to implement societal endeavors ensuring not only the assistance needed for the asylees but also the security oversight ensuring we remain a free and peaceful nation.
Kerry Patton has served in the U.S. Defense and Justice departments, and as a contractor within the Homeland Security and State departments. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of “Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies” and the children’s book “American Patriotism.”
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