On Tuesday, the US Department of Homeland Security concluded that most of the international terrorism convictions that have been found by the US justice system since the 9/11 attacks had been comprised of individuals who were born outside of the United States. This finding has boosted the drive by the Trump administration to have stricter legislation and regulations in place regarding immigration. The survey found out that 254 convictions out of the total 549 international terrorism convictions that were connected to the terrorist attacks that took place in the fateful day of September 11, 2001, were not citizens of the United States.
A further 148 convictions were not US citizens by birth but had acquired citizenship through registration and naturalization while only a handful 147 was born in the United States. However, the report that was released in a statement by Kirstjen Nielsen, the DHS Secretary, painted a more nuanced image the same as other experts on national security. Secretary Nielsen said that the convictions included people who were arrested in foreign countries and were extradited to the United States to face justice. Secretary Nielsen made these statements while testifying before the judiciary committee of the US Senate on Tuesday.
Another official from the DHS department said that there was an additional estimate of 90 arrests further skewing the statistic for the defendants who were born outside of the United States. The Fordham University Law School National Security center director, Karen Greenberg said that the evidence had been overshadowed by the report’s lengthy timeline. Greenberg added that the ISIS had used the tactic of using attackers who were born in the United States to carry out bombings in the west and other allies of the United States.
The Islamic State terrorist organization possess a power structure that is more decentralized as compare to Al-Qaeda who was the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks in 2001. ISIS tends to rely on recruits who were born in western nations and using social media to recruit lone-wolf attackers. Greenberg said that the trump administration is doing everything within their powers to legitimize the ban on immigrants from Islamic nations such as Mali, Yemen, and Somalia. In their quest, the Trump administration has lost sight of the even more significant threat that is posed by US-born youth who are radicalized by terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS. According to another research that was carried out by Greenberg, more than 84 of the 156 convictions on 9/11 were born in the US.