Three of the thousands of well-vetted Muslim refugees who lie on their immigration applications. Source: DOJ: 2 brothers, wife living in Virginia arrested for immigration fraud | WJLA
Three Iraqi refugees were arrested Tuesday morning and charged with immigration fraud while living in Virginia after proving false information on their application to become U.S. citizens, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reports.
According to the DOJ, Yousif Al Mashhandani (“Yousif”), 35, lived in Vienna, while his brother, Adil Hasan, 38, and his wife Enas Ibrahim, 32, lived in Burke as lawful permanent residents. All three had applied to become U.S. citizens but failed to report that Yousif and Hasan were biological brothers to a Majid Al Mashhadani (“Majid”) who was detained for kidnapping a U.S. citizen identified as R.H. in Iraq and holding him hostage in horrible conditions in an underground bunker in 2004 .
The fraud was discovered after Yousif’s fingerprints were taken during the process of his application and a connection was made to the 2004 kidnapping conducted by his brother Majid.
“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,” the DOJ stated in a press release.
The DOJ states that when confronted with the fraud during a 2016 interview, Yousif admitted he failed to report his relation to Majid on his family tree form because as a refugee he was told that “he would not be allowed into the U.S. if any immediate family members had a criminal background.”
Hasan and Ibrahim also admitted they discussed eliminating their relation to Majid “on their applications for refugee status because their connection to Majid might delay their ability to gain such status,” according to the DOJ.
Furthermore, the DOJ reports that Hasan also admitted to providing false information about being kidnapped and tortured by a militant group in 2006.
“According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, to justify his application for refugee status, Yousif reported that in 2006, while working as an anti-corruption investigator for the Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity in Iraq, he started receiving threats from a Shiite militia known as the ‘Al Mahdi Militia,’ in order to coerce Yousif to drop a particular corruption investigation. Yousif said that in May 2006, Hasan was kidnapped by the Al Mahdi Militia, and was released only after Yousif arranged to drop the investigation in question and helped pay a large ransom. Yousif said that after Hasan was released, he reopened the corruption investigation, only to flee to Jordon in October 2006 after his parents’ house was burned down.
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,” the DOJ stated in the press release.
The refugees each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted.
DOJ press release here Iraqi Refugees Arrested and Charged With Immigration Fraud.