Tashfeen Malik “liked” ISIS and lied on U.S. visa: Darcy cartoon

5 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

California Shootings Suspect Entered US on Fiance Visa.

The woman who carried out the San Bernardino massacre with her husband came to the U.S. last year on a special visa for fiances of U.S. citizens, raising questions about whether the process can adequately vet people who may sympathize with terrorist groups.Republicans on Friday called for a sweeping review of the country’s visa system after learning that the Pakistani-born woman in the husband-wife California terror team had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook. Tashfeen Malik was allowed into the United States from Saudi Arabia in July 2014 on a K-1 visa, which allows foreigners into the country to marry a US citizen, but requires them to get hitched within 90 days or get booted.

Malik, 27, married Syed Farook, 28, and got a conditional green card this summer after she passed criminal and national security background checks and they proved their wedding was legit and not an immigration scam. Farook would have collected evidence of that meeting and filed a petition requesting a K-1 with U.S. immigration officials, the beginning of a process that generally takes six to 12 months and includes medical, background and income checks. “I certainly wouldn’t rule out the potential of reforms being implemented in the future to strengthen that program, if we determine that is necessary,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday. Malik was subjected to a vetting process the U.S. government describes as vigorous — including in-person interviews, fingerprints, checks against U.S. terrorists watch lists and reviews of her family members, travel history and places where she lived and worked. Luke Messer (R-Ind.), the GOP Policy Committee chairman, told The Hill, a Web site that covers politics. “In light of the renewed terrorist threat, we need to take a look at our entire visa program to enhance our national security. She was very happy that night,” said Nasima Nila, 31, who attended the reception at the Islamic Center of Riverside. “She was a new bride.” She was also very quiet.

Questions about the fiance visa program came as heated debate continues in the U.S. about the Obama administration’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees. Attendees recalled that at the celebration, where women and men were separated, Malik quietly sat on a couch on the women’s side of the mosque and said little other than thanking community members for their congratulations and answering simple questions if asked, Nila said. Citizenship and Immigration Services or when she became radicalized. “This is not a visa that someone would use because it is easy to get into the US, because there are more background checks on this type of visa than just about anything else,” said Palma Yanni, a Washington-based attorney who has processed dozens of K-1 visas. “But fingerprints and biometrics and names aren’t going to tell you what is in somebody’s head unless they somewhere have taken some action.” The government’s apparent failure to detect Malik’s alleged sympathies before the shootings will likely have implications on the debate over the Obama administration’s plans to accept Syrian refugees. On Friday, social media network Facebook confirmed that comments praising Islamic State were posted around the time of the mass shooting to a Facebook account established under an alias by Malik.

In response to a question about the ABC report, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said: “We are actively reviewing all of the information provided in the visa application and sharing it with our interagency partners as it relates to the investigation.” “Uncle Sam just looks on as an approving cupid and doesn’t pay as much attention as he should to the issuance of these visas,” said David North, a senior fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for stricter immigration policies. Refugees also submit to in-person interviews overseas, where they provide biographical details about themselves, including their families, friendships, social or political activities, employment, phone numbers and email accounts. Between 2012 and 2014, Farook would come to the mosque twice a day – for the morning prayers, as early as 4:30 a.m. and evening prayers after work – said the mosque’s director, Mustafa Kuko, and asked for his blessing before going to Saudi Arabia to marry Malik. He said he was one of the “sweetest Muslims I ever met” and that Farook had invited him over for dinner one night a couple years ago, before he was married.

At another area mosque, the Dar-Al-Uloom Al-Islamiyah, where Farook went more recently about two to three times a week, Gasser Shehata said he knew Farook to be “a very quiet person, more on the shy side.” Attendance at Friday prayers at both mosques was thinner than usual and some members said their family and friends had advised them against going for fear of a violent backlash.

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