Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Breitbart News National Security Editor and author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, discussed elevated security concerns in the United States after the Berlin Christmas market massacre in a Fox News appearance on Wednesday night.
Gorka said it was appropriate to feel some surprise at the enormous number of refugees coming into the United States, “especially when we are told by the FBI that we cannot vet people coming from active war zones where there are jihadi organizations like ISIS and al-Qaeda.”
“What’s even more disturbing, earlier this year, Eric, one of the committees in the Senate published a report based on Department of Justice figures that looked at who is actually executing terrorist attacks in America after 9/11,” he told Fox News host Eric Bolling.
“We’ve prosecuted 580 people in America since 9/11. Two dozen of them had refugee/asylum status. 33 people were here illegally on visas that had expired. And they’re from all the obvious places: Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq. This is a no-brainer, Eric. This is a threat that is real, and is already harming Americans,” he warned.
Fellow guest Ric Grenell feared the Obama administration clearly had not “learned the lessons” of the last few European terrorist attacks, and for that matter, “Europe hasn’t learned the lessons” either.
“I’m still concerned when I look, and I see throughout Europe, specifically in Germany, just what’s not happening,” Grenell said. “I’m amazed that governments aren’t responding. If you’re living in Europe, and you’re seeing this unfold, you’re seeing a gentleman who has eight different names and was on a target list, but yet is slipping in and wreaking havoc. Part of this radical Islamic terror network is unfolding across Europe, and your government is not responding appropriately. I think this is a big problem.”
“We need to learn the lesson of what’s going on in Europe by saying, ‘We’ve got to slow down,’” he urged. “ISIS has already said, Eric, that they are trying to take advantage of Europe’s refugee crisis. So let’s take that clue, and let’s slow down the process. Let’s get it right. Let’s work with the United Nations when you have a situation like Syria, where refugees are flooding out. The U.N. is first on the ground. They’re the ones that are supposed to be looking at these refugees and deciding, are they legitimate? Are the true? Are they going to other countries?
“We have to be able to get this right, and when I say we, I don’t just mean the United States. I mean every government in the world. We should be able to work together and figure this out,” Grenell said.
Gorka said there was “only one way” to handle the refugees: “My parents were refugees. They escaped a Communist dictatorship, and they arrived in a refugee camp in Austria with nothing. No money, no documents, nothing. So how were they allowed to settle down in Western Europe, and how was it they proved to refugee camp officers they’re not members of the secret police, or agent provocateurs? How? Through an extensive series, weeks, of counter-intelligence interviews, whereby their story had to stand up – ten times, twenty times – until they convinced that national security professional that they are not a threat to the nation they want to live in.
“We don’t have the manpower for that. We are already trying to track down 900 ISIS cases across America. The idea that we’re going to sit down with 50,000, 100,000 refugees, and have each one be interviewed for weeks on end, is never going to happen. That’s why Mr. Trump’s moratorium on war-zone refugees makes sense,” Gorka said.
“I don’t think that we are compassionless,” Grenell observed. “If we look at someone who has no records, they have no marriage certificates from the Damascus city hall because Damascus city hall is burned down. If you don’t have proper documentation, I don’t think that that means we compassionately have to let you in. I think that means that you don’t get in, because you don’t have the proper identification. You don’t have the proper information.”
“I don’t think that that is a moral hazard. I think it’s the right thing to do,” he contended. “It certainly is a product of war. It’s a terrible thing. That’s why we go back to the original problem, when the Syria crisis was unfolding, That’s when you have to try to solve these issues.”
“We’re now six years past where many of those refugees, who have been living in tents, are frustrated, and you can’t blame them for wanting a better life. But I think that the international community has to do a better job in the very beginning to solve these problems – so that once you can solve their problem, they go back to their original country. That’s where they have family. That’s where they know the language. That’s where they want to go,” said Grenell.
When Bolling observed that America is currently taking refugees from a number of dangerous countries besides Syria, Gorka said it was “because we haven’t had leadership in the world for eight years.”
“There are now 65 million displaced persons in the world today,” he pointed out. “That’s more than we had after World War II. This is the price of having a world destabilized by jihadi groups like ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab in Somalia.”
“This will all change come January 20th. There will be leadership, and as Mr. Trump has said, it is much better in the long run for everybody – us and the refugees – to keep them in the region, to protect them, to provide safe zones and aid, and to keep them close to the homes that eventually they have to go back to. That’s common sense,” Gorka said.