Video: State Department 'Satisfied' With Visa Background Check Process That Allowed Malik Into US

Guy Benson
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Posted: Dec 07, 2015 10:22 AM
Video: State Department 'Satisfied' With Visa Background Check Process That Allowed Malik Into US

Well, this is reassuring:


State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said Friday that the State Department stands behind the visa process that allowed a terrorist into the United States. “Are you satisfied that Malik’s application process followed the proper protocol?” one reporter asked Trudeau, referring to San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik, who had previously pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on Facebook. “Yes,” she said. “How can you say that with such assurance?” the reporter asked. Trudeau said that she is confident that this case followed protocol because the State Department is confident in its visa process. “Because we stand behind our screening process for visas,” she said. She attributed part of her confidence in the visa process to the fact that the process is consistently being improved and revised...When asked whether she could “say with absolute confidence that no one dropped the ball in this case,” Trudeau said that she has “no information that indicates that.” She later added that Americans can have confidence in the visa processing system.

Have confidence, America:

Officials said Thursday that Malik underwent and passed a Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism screening as part of the process of getting the K-1 visa. The visa would have been effective for 90 days, after which Malik would have had to apply for green card status through the Department of Homeland Security as the wife of an American. It was not immediately clear whether she did so. Wearing black tactical gear and wielding assault rifles, Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, sprayed as many as 75 rounds into a room at the Inland Regional Center, where about 75 of Farook's co-workers had gathered Wednesday morning. Farook had attended the start of the event but slipped out and returned in battle dress.

Granted, our national security and law enforcement agencies have their hands full.  The FBI Director recently stated that federal officials are working approximately 900 active investigations

into radicalized operatives and ISIS sympathizers within the United States;  Farook and Malik evidently were not among them.  The harrowing reality is that the government cannot protect its citizens from every lurking danger, especially given jihadists' trend toward attacks carried out by tiny cells of terrorists.  This threat environment requires a vigilant populace, and, many would argue, an armed citizenry.  People need to feel comfortable actually following the "see something, say something" mantra without fear of lawsuits or bigotry accusations.  Police arrived on the scene in San Bernardino within four minutes of a 911 call being placed -- by which point the terrorists' deadly rampage was over.  Defenseless law-abiding citizens were slaughtered.  Those points aside, Americans do expect their government to perform certain core tasks, such as keeping foreign nationals who present security risks off of US soil.  Yet Tashfeen Malik sailed through what we're told was a rigorous federal screening prior to being granted legal status, and the State Department is standing by that process.  No protocols can be perfectly airtight 100 percent of the time, but how many red flags were missed in the lead-up to last week's massacre?  We know that Farook had been in touch with suspected jihadists over a span of years, making contact with several people the feds had monitored, so at least some dots existed.  It seems as though our overburdened homeland security apparatus didn't have the manpower or resources to connect them.  And there were warning signs about Ms. Malik, too:

Tashfeen Malik's path to accused mass killer in California began in a small city on the Indus River in Pakistan's Punjab province. It was from here, when she was a toddler, that she moved with her father Gulzar 25 years ago to Saudi Arabia, where he became more deeply religious, more conservative and more hardline, according to a family member. A picture slowly emerged on Friday of the role and possible motivations of 27-year-old Malik in this week's killing of 14 people in California, including her apparent pledge of allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State militant group, according to U.S. officials...The intensive search for clues, extending to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, could help U.S. investigators piece together what drove Malik and her husband to leave their infant daughter with his mother, don assault-style clothing and carry out the shooting...U.S. investigators were evaluating evidence that Malik, a Pakistani native who had been living in Saudi Arabia when she married Farook, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, two U.S. government sources said. They said the finding, if confirmed, could be a "game changer" in the probe.

She's also reportedly been tied to an infamous mosque in Pakistan, a known hotbed of extremism, leading to speculation that she may have been the driving force behind the attack.  New reports indicate that other members of her family may be involved with a separate terrorist organization.  It's unclear how much, if any, of this information authorities could have accessed prior to giving Malik the green light to enter America.  Taken together, the missed opportunities to track Farook's radical ties and the "come on in!" verdict on Malik's suitability to become a legal US resident are likely to undermine the White House's case that the federal government is equipped to competently and effectively vet 10,000 Syrian refugees slated for arrival under President Obama's policy.  The White House has argued that America's refugee screening process is extensive and robust -- more so than in Europe, where the 'terrorists-posing-as-refugees' threat is especially acute.  But the events of last week, and the various revelations that have emerged since, aren't likely to instill confidence or enhance the administration's credibility among the American people.  The president has consistently underestimated and misjudged the ISIS menace, from his reckless Iraq withdrawal, to his "jayvee" quip, to his ill-timed "contained" misfire, to his assurances that the homeland is secure (not to mention his allergy to properly identifying the broader threat of radical Islamist terrorism).  Obama and the government he leads have produced a crisis of confidence.  Simply taking note of these realities, and asking pointed questions about them, does not constitute "ISIS recruitment" -- nor is it akin to turning away the Jews in advance of the Holocaust.  Those Democrat-pushed comparisons aren't merely beyond the pale, they're also politically insane.  And oh by the way, what is this all about?

Five young Middle Eastern men were apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol this week in an Arizona town situated about 30 miles from the Mexican border, law enforcement and other sources told Judicial Watch. Border Patrol agents spotted the men crossing a ranch property in the vicinity of Amado, which is located about 35 miles south of Tucson and has a population of 275. Two of the Middle Eastern men were carrying stainless steel cylinders in backpacks, JW’s sources say, alarming Border Patrol officials enough to call the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for backup. A multitude of federal agents descended on the property and the two men carrying the cylinders were believed to be taken into custody by the FBI. Only three of the men’s names were entered in the Border Patrol’s E3 reporting system, which is used by the agency to track apprehensions, detention hearings and removals of illegal immigrants. E3 also collects and transmits biographic and biometric data including fingerprints for identification and verification of individuals encountered at the border. The other two men were listed as “unknown subjects,” which is unheard of, according to a JW federal law enforcement source. “In all my years I’ve never seen that before,” a veteran federal law enforcement agent told JW. The disturbing incident comes just days after six men—one from Afghanistan, five from Pakistan—were arrested in nearby Patagonia, a quaint ranch town that sits 20 miles north of the Mexican border city of Nogales. Federal authorities have confirmed the November 17 arrests and a local news outlet published a story that includes an official statement from the Border Patrol. Special Agent Kurt Remus in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Phoenix headquarters told JW that the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces vetted and interviewed the six men and determined that there were “no obvious signs of terrorism” so they were returned to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.

As awful events unfold and frightening headlines swirl, Donald Trump has been arguing that our immigration policy is a disaster, and that we're governed by inept fools. Is his appeal really such a mystery?