Fingerprints of Refugee Admitted To U.S. Were Found In An Iraq Bunker Used To Hold Hostages In Terrible Conditions

Posted: Mar 29, 2017 4:30 PM

Two Iraqi men in the United States as refugees, brothers Yousif Al Mashhandani and Adil Hasan, were arrested and charged Monday with immigration fraud after federal authorities found they lied about their biological connection to Majid Al Mashhadani. Mashhadani is an Iraqi who kidnapped an American in 2004 and held them in horrible conditions for nearly a year. 

From a Department of Justice release (bolding is mine): 

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on Nov. 1, 2004, a U.S. citizen, identified as R.H., was kidnapped and held with other hostages for months in horrible conditions in an underground bunker. After a raid in 2005 freed the hostages, Majid Al Mashhadani (“Majid”), who is a full biological brother of Yousif and Hasan, was detained and admitted his complicity in the kidnapping of R.H.   

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Yousif was admitted into the U.S. as a refugee in 2008. In May 2013, Yousif resided in Vienna and applied for naturalization as a U.S. citizen. In connection with Yousif’s applications for citizenship, his fingerprints were taken. According to an FBI fingerprint specialist, analysis conducted in November 2013 determined that Yousif’s fingerprints match those found on a document at the underground bunker where forces rescued R.H. and others in Iraq in 2005.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, to justify his application for refugee status, Hasan provided sworn testimony that, in 2006, he had been kidnapped and tortured by members of the Al Mahdi Army and held for nearly a month. Hasan said he was released upon the payment of a ransom of $20,000. In an interview by FBI agents in April 2016, Hasan said he was threatened in Iraq on two occasions, but made no mention of being kidnapped, held hostage and tortured for nearly a month. In a subsequent interview in October 2016, FBI agents confronted Hasan about the discrepancy in his stories and Hasan admitted to making false statements and creating his persecution story.

Based on the fingerprint match found in the Iraqi bunker, Yousif may have been involved in holding hostages with Mashhaadni. As noted, one of those hostages was an American citizen.

Hasan's wife, Enas Ibrahim, was also arrested and charged "attempting to obtain naturalization contrary to law." All three individuals live in Virginia. More from the release: 

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Yousif, Hasan and Ibrahim are lawful permanent residents and have applied to naturalize and become U.S. citizens.  On various applications and forms throughout their respective immigration processes, each has provided an extensive list of family members and information of their respective family trees; however, none listed any reference to Majid.

According to the affidavit, Hasan and Ibrahim also falsely represented their income level while on welfare to obtain an automobile loan.

"On January 8, 2015, Hasan and Ibrahim made a $10,000 down payment on an auto loan they obtained on the basis of their representations that they jointly earned at least $84,000 annually, including $36,000 that Ibrahim claimed to earn as a daycare worker in a job that she held for three years. At that time, Ibrahim was receiving benefits from the SNAP and TANF programs through the County of Fairfax on the basis of representation from 2014 renewal applications with Fairfax County Social Services that a) she was unemployed and had no income; b) their joint income was less that $4000 a week; c) that they had virtually no assets. The representations that Hasan and Ibrahim made to NMAC in January 2015 were inconsistent with the representations that Hasan made to Fairfax County in September and December 2014." 

You can read the entire affidavit below:

2017 03 28 Mashhadani Affidavit by Katie Pavlich on Scribd

All three defendants appeared in court Tuesday afternoon.