Dozens of suspected terrorist bombmakers, to include at least two members of al-Qaida, may have mistakenly been allowed to move the United States as war refugees.
That stunning revelation comes from FBI agents and is included in an exclusive ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many more than that,” House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul told ABC News. “And these are trained terrorists in the art of bombmaking that are inside the United States; and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me.”
Two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists were discovered living as refugees in Kentucky in 2009. The men later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq, ABC News reported.
The investigation showed that Waad Ramadan Alwan was mistakenly allowed to resettle in Bowling Green, home to Western Kentucky University and very close to the Army’s Fort Knox and Fort Campbell.
Alwan and another Iraqi refugee living there, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, federal prosecutors told ABC News.
Stunningly, federal officials said Alwan lived in public housing across the street from a school bus stop, and collected public assistance payouts.
Alwan was secretly taped by the FBI bragging about building a dozen or more bombs in Iraq and used a sniper rifle to kill American soldiers in the Bayji area north of Baghdad.
“He said that he had them ‘for lunch and dinner,'” recalled FBI Louisville Supervisory Special Agent Tim Beam, “meaning that he had killed them.”
The two men were also linked to an IED attack in Iraq in 2005 that killed four U.S. troops.
In all, there are more than 70,000 Iraqi war refugees in the U.S., the report noted.
ABC News reported that Homeland Security spokesperson Peter Boogaard said in a statement that the U.S. government “continually improves and expands its procedures for vetting immigrants, refugees and visa applicants, and today [the] vetting process considers a far broader range of information than it did in past years.”