- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Federal investigators are sifting through the records of thousands of Iraqis who came to the United States as “war refugees” in recent years, trying to discern how many more are like the two they recently arrested: Admitted terrorists who left Iraq for America, accepted public housing and welfare assistance, then continued with their plots to kill.

The Daily Mail said two Iraqis who were arrested in Kentucky a couple years ago on charges related to terrorism — and who were living in public housing, collecting welfare checks from the government — told authorities that there may actually be more like them living in America. So now, FBI agents are rushing to check databases and compare the fingerprints of the 70,000 Iraqis who obtained refugee status and moved to America after the Iraq War, to those that are lifted off various improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

And they’ve found some matches.

Gregory Carl, who directs the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, said to ABC News that he’s identified “dozens” of Iraqi refugees with fingerprints that are suspiciously close to those that have been lifted off of IEDs. Members of Congress, meanwhile, are expressing growing alarm at the findings.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many more than that,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, The Daily Mail reported. “That really concerns me.”

The Kentucky case involved Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26. They were arrested in Bowling Green in May 2012, at their publicly funded housing project — and Alwan bragged shortly after that he had killed U.S. soldiers by sniper fire while in Iraq.

In fact, he said, he “had them for lunch and dinner,” The Daily Mail reported.

In 2012, long after FBI agents arrested the pair, they found Alwan’s fingerprints on a bomb that had been taken out of Iraq in 2005.

Both Alwan and Hammadi were convicted of trying to send weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq, The Daily Mail said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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