By Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder
This week I urged Governor Jay Nixon to take every step necessary to halt the relocation of Syrian refugees into Missouri. Other lawmakers and candidates for office followed suit.
As I wrote to Governor Nixon, the safety and security of all Missourians must be our top priority. Nixon wants to push that responsibility off on the federal government and its vetting process, even though FBI Director James Comey already told Congress last month the coming influx of 10,000 Syrian refugees cannot be thoroughly screened.
Those who want to welcome Syrian refugees argue that we’re dealing with people who’ve suffered the horrors of war. They say those coming to America are women, children and orphans. America doesn’t turn its back on refugees.
To an extent, I share these sentiments. The crisis throughout that region of the world is heartbreaking. But we must look at this crisis through the lens of national security as well as compassion.
Late this summer, German police arrested an ISIS terrorist posing as an asylum seeker in a refugee center in Stuttgart. German custom officials also seized boxes containing 10,000 Syrian passports being smuggled into Europe. Possession of these passports is a vital part of claiming asylum as war refugees.
I ask those who would welcome Syrian refugees with open arms, is it possible those passports were intended for ISIS fighters to use to blend into German society? Are fake passports even now en route to the United States for the same purpose?
After all, ISIS leaders repeatedly have threatened to form a “fifth column” to fight a hijrah. Hijrah is the Islamic doctrine of migration, a “Trojan Horse” jihad.
Infiltration is not merely a tactic of Islamic extremists, it’s a preferred tactic.
A friend of mine served two combat tours as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot. He recently reminded me of an alarming 2012 report from former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker. “Green on blue,” or insider, attacks are prevalent in Afghanistan, and Crocker claimed Taliban infiltration of the Afghan army and police is much worse than U.S. officials admit.
Last year, Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene became the first general officer killed in a combat zone since the Vietnam War, the victim of a green on blue shooting by an Afghani soldier.
My friend witnessed the aftermath of a suicide bombing in 2008 in Iraq that killed three Marines, including Lt. Col. Max Galeai. The bomber was dressed as an Iraqi police officer. Two Iraqi interpreters, the local mayor and several other local Iraqi leaders also were killed in the attack.
ISIS has embraced this tactic, taking advantage of the sensibilities of many in the West, where the mere mention of refugees tugs at the heartstrings of well-meaning Europeans and Americans.
It took only eight enemy combatants to conduct the Paris attacks. What if only 1 percent of the 10,000 refugees President Barack Obama has said are coming to America are embedded terrorists?
What if a handful of these terrorists masquerading as refugees make it to Missouri and pull off a Paris-type attack in the Galleria Mall in Richmond Heights, or at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium?
The safety and security of all Missourians must trump any idealistic notion of compassionate concern for war refugees.
Saudi Arabia has more than 100,000 empty, air-conditioned tents that could house up to 3 million refugees. The tents are used only a few days each year to house pilgrims on their way to Mecca for the hajj. But Saudi Arabia has done little to assuage the refugee crisis.
Why doesn’t President Obama use his renowned “pen and a phone” to demand our supposed allies in Saudi Arabia take in these refugees? Instead, Obama defiantly ignores a growing number of Americans and their elected representatives demanding this president stop putting our nation’s security at risk.