Posted on September 8, 2022

Inspector General Says DHS Allowed Unvetted, Dangerous Afghans to Reach the U.S.

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, September 7, 2022

The Homeland Security Department failed to fully vet some of the Afghan evacuees it brought into the U.S. during last year’s airlift, the department’s inspector general said in a devastating audit, which warned that some people who “posed a risk to national security” were indeed let into the country.

One evacuee, just liberated from prison by the Taliban, was cleared to reach the U.S. Another reached the U.S. and was released, only to have the FBI conclude three months later that the evacuee “posed national security concerns.”

The evacuation was constructed so hastily that the department wrote procedures on the fly, with screening decisions made “on an ad hoc basis,” said the audit, released Tuesday.

“As a result, DHS paroled at least two individuals into the United States who posed a risk to national security and the safety of local communities and may have admitted or paroled more individuals of concern,” the inspector general concluded.

The prisoner was even flagged upon arrival at a U.S. airport. A Customs and Border Protection passport screener spotted “derogatory” information in the system, but a supervisor overruled the officer and paroled the evacuee, the audit found.

Three weeks later, the FBI re-flagged the evacuee. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement picked up and deported the person.

The report contrasts with the Biden administration’s claims of a smooth operation that thoroughly checked evacuees.

The audit found that people who gave “questionable” names or dates of birth were allowed to enter. U.S. officials just assigned a Jan. 1 birthdate for whatever age the evacuees said they were.

Out of roughly 89,000 names, more than 11,000 were listed as having Jan. 1 birthdates. Another 417 had no known first name, and 242 were listed with no known last name.

That meant they couldn’t be properly run against the government’s databases, raising risks that even more dangerous people were admitted among the Afghan evacuees, the inspector general said.

“Based on the cultural differences and questionable data in the biographic fields, it was challenging for DHS to fully screen and vet the evacuees,” the inspector general said.