The overwhelming majority of terror suspects charged in the United States because of their alleged ties with Daesh (ISIL) are American citizens, new research reveals.
Of the 68 people who have been indicted because of alleged involvement in Daesh terrorism, 55 or about 81 percent are US citizens, including 44 who were born in America, according to a study published this week by Center on National Security at Fordham University.
Eighteen of those individuals have been convicted with an average sentence of more than 10 years.
The data further shows that only three of those indicted in the US were refugees and none came from Syria.
The research comes amid a mounting clamor in the United States over the perceived threat of refugees to national security.
“Law enforcement is being very careful about these arrests. They really don’t see a great domestic terrorism threat here. Of course we know that anything could happen but, compared to abroad, the terrorism threat is really quite low,” said Karen Greenberg, director of the center, according to the Guardian newspaper.
The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved legislation to suspend President Barack Obama’s program to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country.
The measure was approved by a vote of 289 to 137 Thursday, giving it the two-thirds majority the House would need to override a promised veto by Obama. The bill will now go to the Senate.
In the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris, Republican presidential candidates have ramped up their rhetoric against Syrian refugees.
Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is tailing Donald Trump in national polls, compared some of the Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs” and warned that it would be “foolish” to allow such people into the US.
“Everyone is now saying how right I was with illegal immigration and the wall,” Trump tweeted on Thursday, referring to his tough anti-immigration policy that calls for building a wall along the US-Mexico border. “After Paris, they’re all on the bandwagon.”
Trump also said Thursday that he would be open to having a “Muslim database” in America for security reasons, two days after he said that the US would have “absolutely no choice” but to close down some mosques.