Three Washington-area Iraqi refugees have been charged with immigration fraud after it was revealed that the story they told authorities to get refugee status from the United Nations was entirely fabricated.
According to WJLA-TV, Adil Hasan, 38, his wife, Enas Ibrahim, 32, and his brother, Yousif Al Mashhadani, 35, have all been charged after a kidnapping story Hasan formulated fell apart.
The Washington Times reports that Hasan initially told authorities that he was kidnapped by a Shiite militia and tortured over a one-month period.
This kidnapping, Hasan claimed, was done in order to get his brother, Mashhadani, who was with the Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity, to drop an investigation. He was only released, he said, after his brother paid a $20,000 ransom.
This is the story they told the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees while they were in a refugee camp in Jordan. The reasoning, of course, is that it gave them a political reason to leave Iraq, making it much more likely that they would be resettled.
And that they were. They were admitted to the United States in 2008, according to The Washington Times. They later applied for citizenship. However, seven years later, their story began to fall apart. During a naturalization interview, a third brother of the two men revealed they were related to Majid Al Mashhadani, a man who had been linked to the 2004 kidnapping of an American contractor.
To make things worse, Yousif Al Mashhadani’s fingerprints — taken as part of the naturalization process — matched prints taken from the bunker where the contractor was held hostage.
After inconsistencies in his story began to emerge, Hasan admitted that the real story involved being stopped at a military checkpoint by Shiite forces and being held in a house for five hours — not a month. And while he said he was hit on the shoulder, there was no torture. Nor, indeed, was there any ransom.
He also said he didn’t mention his relation to Majid Al Mashhadani because he had been told in the refugee camp that “he would not be allowed into the U.S. if any immediate family members had a criminal background.”
Of course, the only reason their story fell apart was because of remarkable evidence linking one of the brothers to the contractor’s kidnapping, in addition to inconsistencies in Hasan’s story.
Do you think they’re the only ones who have done this? How many people have made it in whose stories have held together?
This is why so many Americans have lost faith in the refugee program — and why we need more stringent vetting.
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H/T The Daily Caller