Family Security Matters
Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson gave some peculiar testimony in a House hearing Tuesday about two men tied to a designated terrorist organization who, he says, fled to Canada after “they were released by the judge” in an immigration hearing. Representative Jason Chaffetz pressed Secretary Johnson on the matter but appears either to have run out of time or not known what to ask. He and the committee should follow up promptly.
The story begins back in September when the pair, along with two other companions, were caught attempting to enter the United States through Mexico. It was quickly reported that four terrorists had tried to enter the country, igniting concerns that Islamic State cells were taking root here. Johnson quickly moved to ease those concerns by revealing that the four men were, in fact, Kurds associated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The PKK is a delicate subject for the Obama administration at the moment. In Iraq and Syria, the Kurds are fighting our enemy, the Islamic State, and PKK forces are among their most effective fighters. The PKK, however, is itself a designated terrorist organization under American law. The administration thus faces a problem similar to that which hamstrings its support for the so-called moderate Syrian opposition: aiding the enemy of our enemy is material support to terrorism – a serious federal crime. (As I’ve noted time and again, the “moderate” Syrian opposition is rife with anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood elements and its most effective fighters are al-Qaeda affiliates.)
At the time of their detention, Secretary Johnson vowed that DHS would deport the four Kurds. But at yesterday’s hearing, he admitted that two were still detained and, worse, the other two had been released and had fled to Canada. Regarding the latter pair, the secretary claimed that their release was: