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DHS: 73% of Convicted International Terrorists Were Foreign-Born

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | January 16, 2018 | 10:10 AM EST

DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (Screenshot)

Three of four (73%) convicted international terrorists were foreign-born, a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) study reveals.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report documenting that three out of every four, or 402, individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016 were foreign-born.

“This report is a clear reminder of why we cannot continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves us woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, announcing the report:

“Without legislative change DHS will continue to see thousands of terrorists a year attempt to enter the United States, and while we must be right every time, the terrorists only need to be lucky once.” 

“The information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg, Attorney General Jeff Sessions added:

“We currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees.”

The report reveals that at least 549 individuals were convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016.  An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 percent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born.  Breaking down the 549 individuals by citizenship status at the time of their respective convictions reveals that:

  • 254 were not U.S. citizens;
  • 148 were foreign-born, naturalized and received U.S. citizenship; and,
  • 147 were U.S. citizens by birth.

According to information available to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), since September 11, 2001, there were approximately 1,716 removals of aliens with national security concerns.

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