Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mind The Gap

The Wall Street Journal has a breakdown on Faisal Shahzad's immigration progress in the U.S. (h/t JammieWearingFool) Like the 9/11 terrorists, he first entered as a F-1 student visa in 1998, but earned a BA unlike the 9/11 boys who never earned degrees or certifications.

Next he got the infamous H-1B visa, replacing an American in a job in 2002, just after 9/11. The WSJ says he worked for three years, which takes us to 2005. Then an MBA is mentioned, but whether Shahzad returned to school and adjusted his status back to F-1, was here illegally, or continued to work full-time while attending school as an H-1B is not in the article.

In October 2008 the article says he got married to Huma Asif Mian, obviously a fellow Muslim, but apparently an American citizen as well. The article goes on to say that he was naturalized in April 2009. Only six months of marriage to a US citizen.

So, we have an unexplained gap between 2005 and 2008.

The CNN reported that he was in Pakistan from June 2009 to February 3, 2010. The Daily Mail reported that he and his wife moved to Pakistan during that trip.

Stranger still is that if he married in 2008 as claimed, then he not yet elligible to get citizenship, as to qualify for citizenship, he must have been married to a U.S. citizen for three years as a legal permanent residence. If you aren't married to a USC, then it takes five years before you qualify to apply for citizenship. Obviously he must first have become a legal permanent resident. How did he get that? Did he adjust his status from H-1B to legal permanent resident based on employment? If he got his legal permanent residence by marriage in 2008, he would not have had three years as the spouse of a citizen, much less the year minimum it takes from application to swearing in.

Furthermore, since he had moved to Pakistan, then he was no longer residing in the U.S. and would not have qualified for citizenship.

Then there is the CBS report that Shahzad was known to intelligence officials. "The source said forensic evidence uncovered in the vehicle led them to a Middle Eastern man's name that was familiar to counter-terrorism investigators." (h/t Debbie Schlussel)

How did he get citizenship and through the FBI name check? Well, first of all, most, like Hugh Hewitt, think there is a background check for immigrants and for those who apply for citizenship. In reality there is just a criminal history check and an FBI intelligence name check. This FBI name check caused backlogs in naturalization applications. Because of the delay, the Jorge Bush Administration ended the policy of holding up approvals of citizenship applications when the FBI name check was incomplete. Now aliens are naturalized even if they are still in the process of the FBI name check. The obvious problem is that the FBI does not want to tip off intelligence targets that they are being watched. Therefore if they are under surveillance or investigation, the USCIS has to deny the application, but that would notify the target, so the new policy is to naturalize those who should fail the FBI name check. If the application is denied, then the alien can appeal administratively and to Federal Courts. So, the solution is to approve citizenship applications without FBI background checks.

Another issue is that some think that USCIS actually inquires as to an applicants fitness for citizenship. That is no longer true. That ended a long time ago. Aside from a criminal history check and the FBI name check, there is no inquiry as to an alien's fitness for citizenship. Criminal activity or association separate from a conviction, totalitarian ideology, support for jihad, support for terrorism, there is not questioning of a prospective citizen or any search of their background, no questioning neighbors, associates, family, etc. So a jihadist like Shahzad can easily slip through even if he comes to the citizenship interview dressed up like Osama Bin Ladin.

Here we have it. How did Shahzad get citizenship? Perhaps bribes or fraud? Or perhaps he got residency based on employment just after his H-1B work ended? Did he marry an unidentified woman and get residency back in the mid-2000, get divorced and then marry his current Muslim/Pakistani wife? And did he lie about his move back to Pakistan? Lots of questions. And then the issue of dual-nationality. In a citizenship oath, the alien is required to sever all loyalties to another country, but he maintained dual-nationality in violation of the citizenship oath. Clearly he intended to maintain his Pakistani citizenship and never intended to remain loyal to the United States. Why is such behavior tolerated?


MSNBC reported that Shahzad obtained his green card through an employer in 2006. That means that he was required to wait five years to apply for citizenship. However he still obtained citizenship in 2009, which means he applied sometime in 2008, as it takes 6 months to a year for the process to be completed.

Shahzad was also on a watch list since 1999. (h/t National Review Online)
Never mind. Married in 2004. But his wife was an anchor baby. But he appears to have been radicalized on the internet or by the Pakistani press. But in 2004 the new owner of his condo was questioned by the JTTF, but for what reason? What would someone who bought a condo with a bank loan and a real estate agent know about the seller? I never met the seller of the condos and homes I own.
The money quote:

"The classmate said he had remained friends with the couple and had noticed something different about Mr. Shahzad about a year ago.

“'His personality had changed — he had become more introverted,' Dr. Anwar said the classmate told him. 'He had a stronger religious identity, where he felt more strongly and more opinionated about things.' Dr. Anwar said he had asked the classmate whether this change had come through association with a group, and the friend said it seemed to be “on his own that he was learning all these things.'

"Mr. Ahmad, the friend from Mohib Banda, speculated that the transformation was rooted in Karachi. An associate of Mr. Shahzad’s was arrested in a mosque believed to have ties with a militant group in Karachi early Tuesday, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

“'The question is who has put Faisal in this path?” Mr. Ahmad asked. “The Faisal with the beard that you see, he was not the old Faisal. He was like you, like me, handsome, liberal and an active person.'

"According to Pakistan’s information minister, Mr. Shahzad traveled to Pakistan 13 times in the past seven years. One Pakistani official who knew the family said it was unlikely that Mr. Shahzad would have been radicalized in Pakistan if he was only on short trips, which tend to be dominated by family commitments like weddings; the criminal complaint against him filed on Tuesday says that he returned in February from a five-month stint. It also said Mr. Shahzad had been trained in bomb-making in Waziristan.

"Another family friend in Pakistan, Kifayat Ali, called Mr. Shahzad “emotional” and said that he used to carry a dagger around with him as a boy. He speculated that Mr. Shahzad had become enraged by the United States’ military actions, fueled by the Pakistani press blaring conspiracy theories and anti-American vitriol.

“'A person sees the brutality of Afghanistan and Iraq,” Mr. Ali noted. “These scenes affect people.'”

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