Trump, after all the media ridicule, was correct in saying that potential terrorists have illegally crossed the United States’ southern border. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif of Somalia did. And it could happen again.
Many who have professionally worried, as did former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, that violent jihadists might illegally cross the United States’ southern border are often sanctimoniously challenged with this: “Name a single U.S. border-crossing immigrant asylum-seeker who ever committed a terrorist attack.”
Introducing Abdulahi Hasan Sharif of Somalia.
The 32-year-old Sharif is now on public trial in Canada, facing 11 counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and dangerous driving. While he occupies a consequential homeland security pedestal of first border-crosser to conduct a jihadi attack in North America, his backstory remains largely unexcavated for learnable lessons to U.S. homeland security. That may or may not change in the coming weeks of a trial.
In 2011, Sharif had himself smuggled from Somalia through Brazil and Central America. Then he entered the United States over the Mexico-California border and claimed asylum. Sharif went on to Canada, where he allegedly conducted a double vehicle-ramming and stabbing rampage in 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta, that severely injured a police officer and four other people. He was carrying an Islamic State flag in one of the ramming vehicles.
Those who paid attention to this case were too few and far between ever to mention Sharif a year ago when President Trump provoked a denialist media backlash by claiming the border was vulnerable to violent jihadists migrating from distant Muslim-majority countries. read more