Three quarters of US terrorists were foreign born: Trump study

The Trump administration on Tuesday released a report claiming that 73 percent of those convicted of international terrorism-related offenses since the 9/11 attacks were foreign born. (AP)
Updated 17 January 2018
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Three quarters of US terrorists were foreign born: Trump study

NEW YORK: The Trump administration on Tuesday released a report claiming that 73 percent of those convicted of international terrorism-related offenses since the 9/11 attacks were foreign born, as it moves to tighten immigration rules.
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Justice Department assessed that three out every four people convicted of international terror charges were born overseas. Muslim rights activists told Arab News that their study was flawed and biased.
US federal courts convicted at least 549 people with international terrorism-related charges between Sept. 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016, the report said. Of those, 254 were not US citizens and 148 had become naturalized US citizens. Another 147 were born US citizens.
The report names convicted terrorists from Sudan, Uzbekistan, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen and other countries with large or majority Muslim populations, echoing President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about the threat from Islamist militants.
It focusses on acts planned and committed outside the US and those within the US that involved Daesh or another foreign group. It excludes acts of so-called domestic terrorism that did not involve overseas organizations.
“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality — our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Republican, said in a statement.
“And the information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg: We currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the US, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees.”
During the 2016 election campaign, Trump pledged to temporarily halt Muslim immigration to the US and, since taking office, issued a travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries and a ban on refugees that has been dogged by legal challenges.
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Muslim civil rights group, told Arab News that the report’s authors had cherry-picked data to substantiate their prejudices.
“It’s reverse-engineering the numbers to stigmatize immigrants and Muslims, and disregarding the high number of domestic terror incidents that are not included in this report by really sidestepping all the domestic terrorism by white supremacists and the like,” Hooper said.
“Going forward, every report and policy from this administration has to be viewed from the prism of racism and the white supremacy that’s at the core of what the Trump administration is trying to do, based on the president’s statements and actions.”
Washington is currently debating an overhaul of America’s immigration system, with Democrats pushing for an amnesty for some undocumented migrants and their children, while many Republicans want to tighten US borders and immigration rules.
Trump has linked recent terrorist attacks to immigration, and called for eliminating the green card lottery, restricting asylum applications, combatting people who overstay their visas and stopping the so-called “chain migration” of family members to the US.
In a recent meeting with Democrat and Republican lawmakers, Trump sparked outrage by allegedly disparaging Haiti and Africa with an expletive to express his reluctance to welcome migration from impoverished nations.
The White House says the current system brings too many people to the country who cannot assimilate and lack skills and education to contribute to society. It vaunts the point-based systems of Australia and Canada.
“Our properly functioning immigration system promotes assimilation in all its forms, through whatever mechanism by which those individuals come to the US,” a senior administration official said.
“It doesn’t promote the admission of individuals who are not likely to succeed, who are not likely to assimilate, and who could potentially radicalize or may already be radicalized to pose a threat to our national security.”


UK minister Brokenshire says colleagues must rally behind PM May on Brexit

Updated 10 min 8 sec ago
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UK minister Brokenshire says colleagues must rally behind PM May on Brexit

  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May will discuss Brexit plan on Tuesday with top ministerial team
  • She has been battling to not only satisfy EU demands, but also keep on board euroskeptics in her Conservative Party who have been vocal critics of her plan

LONDON: British housing minister James Brokenshire called on his government colleagues to rally behind Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan before a meeting of her top ministerial team on Tuesday to discuss her proposals for a deal.
On Monday, May urged the European Union not to allow a disagreement over how to ensure there was no return of a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland derail talks which stalled at the weekend.
“The message is we need to support the prime minister in making further progress this week ... and therefore move to that position of getting that positive outcome for our country,” Brokenshire told BBC radio.
“Whilst making sure that it is our entire United Kingdom that leaves the European Union, the single market and the customs union because it is our UK that is just so important.”
May said on Monday she believed a Brexit agreement was still achievable although European Council President Donald Tusk warned that the chances of a no-deal divorce had increased. May is to address her 27 EU peers on Brexit at a summit in Brussels on Wednesday.
The British prime minister is battling to not only satisfy EU demands, but also keep on board euroskeptics in her Conservative Party who have been vocal critics of her plan, and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on whose support she relies on in parliament.
The BBC reported that eight senior ministers had met on Monday evening to discuss the issue and had expressed concern that any ‘backstop plan’ to avoid a hard border after Britain leaves the bloc next March should be time-limited. The EU has refused to set an end date.