We brought you the news earlier this week of Iraqi refugee Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, arrested last week in Houston on terrorism charges, who had been living in the United States since 2009.
While prosecutors originally believed he wasn’t planning a specific attack in the Houston area, new testimony from a federal agent investigating the case suggests otherwise. In a big way.
As The Blaze reports:
An Iraqi refugee who is facing charges he tried to help the Islamic State group wanted to set off bombs at two Houston malls and was learning to make electronic transmitters that could be used to detonate explosive devices, a federal agent testified Wednesday.
Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, who came to Houston from Iraq in 2009, was indicted last week on three charges, including attempting to provide support to a designated terrorist organization. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges during a court appearance on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes denied granting Al Hardan a bond, ruling that there would be a serious risk that the Iraqi refugee would flee if released from federal custody.
Hughes made his decision after listening to testimony from Homeland Security Special Agent Herman Wittliff, who said that in addition to Al Hardan wanting to set off bombs at the two Houston malls, including the popular Galleria mall, the Iraqi man was also learning how to make electronic transmitters that could be used to detonate improvised explosive devices. Al Hardan wanted use cellphones – a collection of which were found in his apartment – to detonate the transmitters, Wittliff said.
“He wanted to build them (the transmitters) for ISIL,” Wittliff said.
“For what purpose?” asked prosecutor Ralph Imperato.
“So he could kill people,” Wittliff replied.
Prosecutors also allege Al Hardan was coordinating efforts with another Iraqi refugee living in California, and he’d received training on how to use an AK-47 assault rifle. He had apparently told his wife:
“Once I get the passport I will leave America, I will leave. I will make a widow of you,” Al Hardan said to his wife, according to the excerpt read in court. “I will go to Syria. I am not wacko. I am not wacko. I am speaking the truth. I want to blow myself up. I want to blow myself up … I am against America.”
Wittliff also testified authorities had a photograph showing Al Hardan had taken an oath on a Quran to the Islamic State and that in the closet of his bedroom, agents found an Islamic State flag and a prayer to do list in which he spoke about receiving strength to be able to commit jihad and becoming a martyr.
How nice — this subscriber to the ‘religion of peace’ includes on his prayer to do list committing jihad and becoming a martyr.
Al Hardan is a veritable poster child for our worst fears of what could happen — seems to be already happening — with the influx of improperly vetted refugees from ISIS-infested territories. As Al Hardan’s case suggests, even putting a pause on refugee resettlement may be too late. Like closing the barn door after the horse escapes — though in this case, it’s after it’s already gotten in (no, I’m not comparing anyone to a horse — that might be considered racist).
Just the other day, we watched as an Iraqi mall was attacked, killing 10, and we noted, “while it used to feel like this was something that happens just “over there,” we all know that’s increasingly no longer the case.” The revelation of Al Hardan’s plans serve as a chilling exclamation point to this.
So tell me again how we should have confidence in our immigration vetting process?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]