Man Arrested for Bomb Plot Was in US on Expired Visa
A Moroccan national was arrested on Monday for planning to bomb a U.S. university and federal building. On the basis of multiple conversations recorded by the FBI, it was learned that the man had sought to avoid deportation by means of deliberate fraud and falsified claims of persecution in his home country.
El Mehdi Semlali Fahti, 26, entered the United States legally on a student visa six years ago. Fahti had been planning to use a remote-controlled airplane to deliver the bomb and stated, according to an affidavit, that "the bomb that he planned to use would be made for him and he claimed that everything is available in Southern California on the border."
But he could not be deported and was released, according to Special Agent Anabela Sharp in an affidavit, because Fahti was granted a "withholding of removal of relief" order "on or about August 16, 2013 based on his claim of fear of persecution based on asylum."
That order precluded the United States from deporting him back to Morroco, and Special Agent Sharp testified that there is probable cause to believe that his application for deportation relief was based on fraud. For instance, even though Fahti claimed in his application that he would be persecuted based on political opinion if deported back to Morocco, he was never arrested in his home country for his political beliefs, which is something his father also confirmed.
In fact, Fahti admitted to an undercover agent that he made up his story to game the system.
While in jail, Fahti, according to the affidavit, went to the prison library and "obtained the State Department's country reports for Morocco from 1999 to 2011 and read them," and he admitted there were cases of abuse by the Moroccan government in those reports of which he had no prior knowledge. Fahti explained to an undercover agent who recorded the conversation that he "worked on the time-frame" in his application so that "everything he wrote in his refugee application coincided with the actual events" and "fabricated his story while he was in prison."
As Breitbart News has reported, the Department of Homeland Security recently conceded that requests for asylum claims have doubled. And the Associated Press also reported that such "credible fear" claims at the U.S.-Mexico border "reached 14,610 by the end of June with three more months to go in the fiscal year." That is compared to "6,824 such claims for the entire 2011 fiscal year."
Associates of the Boston bombers also re-entered the country with invalid visas, and some of the 9/11 hijackers overstayed their visas as well. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Chief Kenneth Palinkas wrote a letter in January to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) informing him that adjudicators are rubber stamping applications and "have been denied the resources and mission support necessary to carefully screen and vet each application and the ultimate benefit and honor of naturalized citizenship."
"This lapse is not only a threat to national security but costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year by failing to impose rigorous screening standards consistent with federal law," Palinkas wrote in the letter.
In a "Critical Alert" report that demolished the notion that Obama was the "deporter-in-chief," Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) found that 99.92% of those who overstayed their visas and did not have a criminal record did not face deportation, while many, like Fahti, who had criminal records also received forms of administrative amnesty.
According to the affidavit, Fahti could not apply for asylum because he failed to do so within a year of entering the country. But he received a "withholding of removal order" because, after convincing the judge that there was a "clear probability" that his "life or freedom would be threatened in [his native] country because of [his] race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion."
As Reuters noted, Fahti's student visa expired "in 2009 after he failed all the classes he had enrolled in at Virginia International University." Since then, he has been arrested for theft and trespassing and also charged with making false statements, according to court documents.