President Trump responded to his critics who claim his travel ban goes too far by releasing a list of terror cases that involve suspects who traveled to the U.S. from the seven countries listed in his executive order.
Trump signed an executive order two weeks ago imposing a 90-day travel ban on the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, outraging many Americans. A federal judge blocked the order, arguing that there hadn't been any terrorist-related arrests from the seven target countries since September 11, 2001, Washington Free Beacon reported.
Judge James Robart, who sits on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington state, said in court Friday that no foreign nationals from the seven countries targeted by Trump's travel ban–Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen–have been arrested in the U.S. for terrorist activity.
Robart asked Justice Department attorney Michelle Bennett to tell him how many such arrests have been made. When the government lawyer did not have an answer, Robart said the number is zero.
Robart's claim is false. The White House circulated a list providing 24 examples of refugees and other immigrants from Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Syria and Libya who have been arrested on terror-related charges, Fox News reported.
The White House document itself names 10 individuals from Somalia, six from Iraq, one from Yemen, two from Sudan, two from Iran, two from Libya and one from Syria. The cases span the last eight years, and include most recently a case in June in which two Somali refugees were jailed for conspiring to commit murder in Syria on behalf of ISIS.
It also includes a case from March of last year, where a Yemeni native who became a U.S. citizen was sentenced to 22 years in prison for attempting to provide "material support" to ISIS and planning to shoot and kill members of the U.S. military who had returned from Iraq.
The dossier also sheds light on a case in January 2016 involving a Palestinian, born in Iraq, who came to the U.S. as a refugee and allegedly tried to provide materials to terror groups abroad. The dossier cited multiple media reports that the suspect told his wife, "I want to blow myself up … I am against America."
Earlier Wednesday, Trump met with local police chiefs and sheriffs. He defended his travel ban and told them that he believed the court case was being politicized.
"I don't ever want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased and we haven’t had a decision yet, but courts seem to be so political," Trump said. "It would be so great for our justice system if they were able to read a statement and do what’s right and that’s to do with the security of our nation, which is so important."
"I think it's sad, I think it's a sad day," he added. "I think our security is at risk today and it will be at risk until such time as ... we get what we are entitled to as citizens of this country."