Cubans and Bosnian Refugees Accused of Helping ISIS, But No Syrian Refugees
No Syrians have been accused of helping the terror group in the U.S., but Bosnians, Uzbeks, and even a Cuban have been. Someone tell Republicans.
No Syrian refugees in the United States have been charged with ISIS-related offenses, but Bosnian refugees, Uzbek nationals, and even a Cuban have been.
Out of the 71 persons prosecuted by the U.S. government, only six were not U.S. citizens. Two-thirds of those charged were born in the U.S. and the rest are naturalized citizens.
Dozens of Republican governors, congressmen, and presidential candidates have come out to oppose the Obama administration’s plan to resettle some 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. after one of the Paris terrorists was found to have registered as a refugee in Greece with an apparently counterfeit Syrian passport. (The U.S. has already resettled roughly 1,900 Syrian refugees.)
While no Syrian refugees have been charged with ISIS-related crimes, two Bosnian refugees have been.
Ramiz Zijad Hodzic and Sedina Hodzic, along with four other people of Bosnian origin, are accused by federal prosecutors of sending money to a Bosnian-American who is believed to have died in Syria while fighting for ISIS.
The most serious non-citizen ISIS threat came didn’t come from a Muslim-majority country but Cuba.
Miguel Morán Diaz, who was born in Cuba and resides in Florida, allegedly boasted to police about being a “lone wolf” terrorist and asked an FBI informant to buy him weapons. On a Facebook page, Diaz called himself Azizi al Hariri and posted ISIS propaganda and photos of himself with bombs. According to the FBI, he boasted to a confidential informant that he had a rifle with a collapsible stock that he could carry into public places.
“Diaz stated he would then take the .308 shell casings and scratch ISIS into the casings,” the federal complaint read. “Diaz stated that after killing people, authorities would find the ISIS-engraved shell casings and then know there was a sniper in town. Diaz continued to state that a sniper could disrupt a city for a week or two until being caught.”
Diaz pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Sarah Schall, the public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, told The Daily Beast she could not confirm Diaz’s immigration status, refugee or otherwise.
Senator Ted Cruz, whose father fled oppression in Cuba, said he would ban Muslim Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. but nothing so far about Cubans.
"Since this threat is real and the Administration has confirmed it has no way to ascertain whether refugees are terrorists, and an overwhelming percentage of refugees is male, which is unusual for refugee waves, it would be utterly irresponsible and foolish to continue to let refugees come to the U.S. while there is no way to decipher who among them might do us harm," Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Daily Beast.
The Hodzics and other Bosnians, on the other hand, allegedly sought out funders in the U.S. and abroad to support Abudullah Pazara in Syria. Prosecutors allege they also contributed their personal money and purchased “U.S. military uniforms, tactical combat boots, military surplus goods, tactical gear and clothing, firearms accessories,” and other goods‚ including rifle scopes—for Pazara. They allegedly then shipped the goods to third parties who handed them over to Pazara in Syria.
The Hodzics pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide material support.
The other three foreigners charged with ISIS-related offenses—three Uzbeks from the New York area—allegedly helped fund a pal’s trip to the self-proclaimed caliphate.
Abror Habibov, Dilkhayot Kasimov, and Akmal Zakirov are three Uzbeks who allegedly helped buy Akhror Saidakhmetov a plane ticket to Turkey and provided money for weapons and other expenses.
Habibov came to the U.S. legally on a visa but stayed beyond its expiration date. Kasimov and Zakirov’s immigration status are not publicly known, according to Nellin McIntosh, the acting public information officer for the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated.