- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 5, 2017

When senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway misspoke and described a terrorist “massacre” in Bowling Green, Kentucky, it was a garbled reference to the fact that two Iraqi refugees who settled there turned out to be committed terrorists.

Although the refugees did not commit a massacre in Kentucky, one of them did in Iraq. The victims: American troops.

Mrs. Conway, a close adviser to President Trump, has been the brunt of a liberal pile-on via Twitter for her now-acknowledged mistake. Chelsea Clinton chimed in with her own tweet, prompting Mrs. Conway to remind her that her mother, Hillary Clinton, made up a story about coming under sniper fire after landing in Bosnia.

In 2009, the Obama administration welcomed Iraqi Waad Ramadan Alwan to the U.S. as a refugee, and he settled in Bowling Green. From afar, he soon began an operation to help al Qaeda in Iraq kill Americans by providing advice on his specialty: building improvised explosive devices, a main killer of U.S. troops.

The FBI discovered his terrorist activities and inserted an informant, to whom Alwan bragged in recorded conversations about the Americans he had killed from 2003 to 2006. His motive in coming to the U.S., he said, was not altruistic: He wanted to obtain a passport so he could carry out his jihad around the world.

Alwan said he was a wanted man in Iraq and could not return, which raises the question of how he was able to obtain refugee status from the Obama administration. The Alwan case prompted the government to suspend the intake of Iraqi refugees while it tightening its vetting procedures.

Alwan said that he procured explosives and missiles in Iraq and conducted strikes every day. He also collected parts for his four types of IEDs, which he buried after dark.

A criminal complaint said Alwan “gave detailed verbal explanations of how to build them and discussed various occasions in which he used these devices against American troops in Iraq.”

His stories about killing Americans was verified by forensic science. His fingerprints were found on IED parts in Iraq. One of his bombs sat unexploded on a railway track. It consisted of high-explosive artillery rounds and phone components.

Alwan said he personally planted IEDs that blew up Humvees and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, which carry four to six American troops.

He said he was also a sniper and that his “lunch and dinner would be an American,” according to the criminal complaint.

In January 2013, Alwan pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to kill troops in Iraq with IEDS and other weapons. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

“Protecting the United States from terrorist attacks remains the FBI’s top priority,” said Perrye Turner, the FBI special agent in charge. “Using our growing suite of investigative and intelligence capabilities, FBI agents and analysts assigned to our Bowling Green office were able to neutralize a potential threat.”

Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, an Alwan accomplice who also was an Iraqi refugee, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and was sentenced to life in prison.

“These are experienced terrorists who willingly and enthusiastically participated in what they believed were insurgent support operations designed to harm American soldiers in Iraq,” said U.S. Attorney David J. Hale.

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide