Lawmakers Demand DHS Release All Documents Related to San Bernardino Attacker

‘The duty of DHS is to protect our homeland from those who wish to do us harm’

Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook / U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP
December 15, 2015

Two prominent House Republicans sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson demanding the agency release all documents related to Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino attacker who entered the U.S. on a K-1 fiancée visa.

Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) and Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), both members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote the letter in response to what DeSantis called the Department of Homeland Security’s "failure to address potential national security threats."

Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, opened fire on a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, on December 2, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others. The House committee, which is chaired by Chaffetz, is investigating Malik’s presence in the United States.

"We request that the Department of Homeland Security and any relevant component agencies produce all documents referring or relating to Tashfeen Malik," Chaffetz and DeSantis, who chairs the Subcommittee on National Security, wrote in the letter to Johnson on Monday.

The lawmakers specified that such documents include those referring or relating to Malik’s immigration or criminal history, detainers filed, or pending immigration charges. They also include enforcement and removal operations executive summaries, immigration benefit applications received by the Department of Homeland Security or other component agencies, and notices to appear that have been drafted, issued, or served.

Finally, the lawmakers requested a "full and complete" copy of the alien file.

"The duty of DHS is to protect our homeland from those who wish to do us harm, and the agency is failing to address potential national security threats," DeSantis said in a statement Tuesday, vowing to continue the investigation into the weakness of the country’s visa waiver program.

"Last week, DHS continually evaded questioning before the National Security Subcommittee, and now reports indicate that DHS has been lax regarding security threats posed by those entering our country. These lapses are unacceptable and I will continue to investigate whether or not DHS is adequately performing their duties."

Chaffetz and DeSantis demanded the agency supply the requested information by December 18. They also requested that Homeland Security provide the committee with a briefing on the immigration and criminal histories of the two San Bernardino attackers, both of whom died in a shootout with police after the attack, by midday December 21.

Malik was born in Pakistan and traveled to the U.S. last summer K-1 fiancée visa after meeting Farook online. She eventually obtained a green card. Federal investigators have said that both of the attackers were radicalized as far back as late 2013.

U.S. immigration officials failed to uncover Malik’s expression of support for violent jihad on social media, the New York Times reported last week.

Published under: Terrorism