US officers warn of attainable threats to the US following the assault in Afghanistan and the mass evacuation
The Department of Homeland Security is tracking three main threats, including whether people overseas in Afghanistan who are connected to ISIS or al-Qaeda could use the relocation process as a way to enter the U.S., according to a call from the federal government to law enforcement partners on Friday, received from CNN.
“To counter this, there is a comprehensive screening and review process for those who are being relocated to the United States,” said DHS intelligence chief John Cohen on the call.
The White House announced on Friday that the DHS will take on the great challenge of monitoring the federal government’s response to the relocation of evacuated Afghans to the US after tens of thousands of people have been flown out of Kabul in recent weeks.
All Afghans traveling to the US are screened for secret and non-secret information. Some of the resettled US residents will undergo secondary screening that includes interviews by the FBI.
There are “a very small number of people who have been reported of concern,” said a National Targeting Center official on the call, which apparently targeted people overseas at so-called water lily transfer points such as Doha. related, Qatar.
CNN reached out to DHS for comment on the call, including details on those flagged as of concern.
On departure from Kabul, fleeing Afghans are sent to several locations overseas where US customs and border guards are stationed. At this point in time, most evacuees provide biographical and biometric information and are checked against US databases.
Once these issues are determined to be “green,” meaning there is no derogatory information, their information will be preferred for flights to the US, the official said.
When the evacuees arrive in the US, who have been at Washington Dulles International Airport but are soon expanding into Philadelphia, there are additional screenings and reviews.
For those who fail the primary screening on arrival in the U.S., CBP will conduct a secondary screening that includes FBI assistance for interviews if needed, CBP’s James McCament said on the call.
It wasn’t immediately clear what would happen if someone failed secondary screening after landing in the U.S.
Earlier this week the FBI set up a command post at FBI headquarters, where staff work around the clock to “make sure we are in step with all of our partners,” an FBI official said on the call.
The FBI supports the cross-agency US government relocation efforts and is involved in reviewing information about arriving Afghans to identify potential national or public safety concerns.
“We don’t have any specific information about foreign terrorist organizations using this as an opportunity. We cannot rule out that this is a possibility, ”the FBI official said, calling on the US to remain vigilant.
The FBI also anticipates a potential increase in domestic terrorism rhetoric from racially or ethnically motivated extremists, as well as anti-government or anti-authority extremists who may be motivated or inspired by the situation, the official added.
From the perspective of DHS, the second major security threat to the US is whether people who are already in the US and may be inspired by narratives related to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other foreign terrorist groups, “see the events in Afghanistan as See opportunity to practice violence here at home, “Cohen said.
The ability to identify threats from local violent extremists poses a challenge to officials, according to Cohen, as there may be no direct information available before an act of violence is committed.
“It is really important that we continue to raise awareness of suspicious activity that frontline workers may become aware of,” he said.
The third threat problem comes from the immediate perspective of individuals who are inspired or motivated to commit violence based on their association with a domestic violent extremist narrative.
Several narrative tendencies have emerged among anti-government and white supremacist groups on online platforms addressing concerns that the relocation of Afghans to the US would result in a loss of control and authority for the white race known as the “great replacement.” is concept, “said Cohen.
“There are concerns that these narratives could incite violent activities directed against immigrant communities, certain faith groups, or even those who are being relocated to the United States,” he added.
Additionally, there are narratives that frame the Taliban’s activities as a success, with commentary focusing on potential acts of violence directed against the US government, law enforcement agencies, and others that are symbols of the current governance structure.
Comments are closed.