How Names matter when crossing to the United States

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The rise in border checks and clearance procedures has made immigration to the United States of America complex. Security at Homeland and international airport terminals has doubled safety controls. Each person arriving in the United States shall provide thorough checks with their travel documents. Protocols and procedures have been developed for the entry of an immigrant to the USA and the individual is disqualified in the event that the requirements are not met. The underlying reason behind strict immigration regulations, border controls and airport controls is the threat of terrorism. A considerable number of lives of U.S. citizens has been claimed by terrorism in different events that have happened since the year 2000 (Berger). Majority of the terrorists who have launched attacks in the United States are not Americans. The names of most terrorist suggest they are either from the Arab-speaking countries or from countries with Muslim majority. Due to past terrorist incidences, the names of immigrants have become pertinent during the immigration process. Some of the terrorism incidences include the September 11th Attack, Boston marathon bombing, and the Orlando shooting. It can be claimed that the names of the immigrants may prevent an immigrant from entering the U.S. owing to the past terrorism incidences.

United States authorities confirmed that the he identity and immigration status of the terrorists who planned and executed the deadly attack on 11th September 2001 were foreigners. The terrorists seized control of various planes that were flying to the United States and they used them to launch a series of attacks on the American soil. According to the immigration authorities, all terrorists were legally allowed to enter the United States on a temporary visa. The visa allows a person to be legally in the U.S. for six months after which it expires. The pilots of the ill-fated planes used in the attacks were not permanent residents in the U.S. Before the attacks happened, many people who were afterwards found to be linked with the terrorists had been detained for violating immigration laws (Hoffman, Bruce, and Reinares). The terrorists who hijacked the Pentagon plane were: Hani Hasan Hanjour, a 26-year old Saudi Arabian who was the pilot and Khalid al-Mihdhar also a Saudi Arabian who entered the U.S. using a tourist visa. Khalid was a legal nonimmigrant when the 9/11 attack was executed. The other terrorist was Nawaf al-Hamzi a Saudi Arabian who entered using a U.S. tourist visa but at the time of the attack his immigration visa had expired for over nine months. Salem al-Hamzi was a brother to Nawaf al-Hamzi and he entered the U.S. using a tourist visa in April 1999. Salem was Saudi Arabian and at the time of the terrorism incidence he was a legal nonimmigrant. Majed Moqed was a Saudi Arabian although the authorities doubted his identity. Majed entered the United States on a tourist visa. The terrorists who launched assault on the World Trade Center Northern Tower included Mohamed Atta an Egyptian who was the pilot, and Satam al-Suqami , Waleed al-Shehri, Wail al-Shehri, Abdulaziz al-Omari all Saudi Arabians. The World Trade Center Southern Tower was attacked by Marwan al-Shehhi a citizen of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who was the pilot, Fayez Ahmed Rashid Ahmed al-Qadi Banihammad from the UAE too. Ahmed al-Ghamdi, Hamza Saleh al-Ghamdi, and Mohand al-Shehri were all Saudi Arabians. The Pennsylvania plane was hijacked by Ziad Samir Jarah a pilot from Lebanon, Saeed al-Ghamdi, Ahmed Ibrahim A, and Ahmed Abdullah al-Nami all from Saudi Arabia (Hoffman, Bruce, and Reinares).

The Boston Marathon bombings were carried out by two brothers Tamerian Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Anzorovich. The two terrorists were from the Chechnya Republic and orchestrated an attack by planting bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013. Tamerian Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout that ensued after the explosions while his brother Dzhokhar Anzorovich was captured by the authorities after a fierce manhunt in Waterdown, Massachusetts. Dzhokhar was arraigned in court, sentenced to death and is now awaiting execution for causing death and destruction of property using weapons of mass destruction. Both terrorists at the Boston Marathon bombing were Muslims who had become radical Muslims (Singh et al.). The two are believed to have been influenced to join hardline Muslims through watching lectures produced by Anwar al-Awlaki.

The mass killing that happened in a nightclub in Orlando was executed by Omar Mir Siddique Mateen, an American. Omar was born of parents who came from Afghanistan and entered the U.S. in the 1980s. Omar called himself an ‘Islamic Soldier’ and was linked to the ISIL jihadist group. According to the authorities, Omar claimed he was carrying out a reiteration attack after an ISIL commander, Abu Wahib was killed in Iraq. Omar executed the attack alone and he killed 49 people and injured 53 others. The LGBT rights group condemned the attacks and termed them as gender-biased (Stapleton).

Most of the terrorists in the different terrorist attacks that have been carried out in the United States are Muslims (Berger). All of them bear Islamic names and reports indicate have been Muslims since they were young. Also, some of the terrorists in the 9/11 attacks such as Salem al-Hamzi and Nawaf al-Hamzi were brothers. Most of the parents of the terrorists in the terrorist attacks against Americans were Muslims (Sandler). According to U.S. authorities, a majority of the terrorists in the 9/11 attack came from Saudi Arabia or had documents that showed they were from Saudi Arabia. Others were from Lebanon, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt (Hoffman, Bruce, and Reinares). The terrorists who planned and launched the Boston Marathon bombings were from Chechnya but had obtained a permit as U.S citizens at the time of the attack (Singh et al.). The shooter at the Pulse gay nightclub located in Orlando was an American citizen but his parents emigrated from Afghanistan. The lone shooter at the Orlando night club was a hardline Muslim (Stapleton).

The terrorists who have been involved in terrorist attacks in the United States were found to speak different languages depending on the country of origin, as well the language classes they attended in their lives. The terrorists with Saudi Arabian origin spoke Arabic and English. According to the authorities, some of the terrorists had enrolled for English classes in earlier years and were fluent speakers of English language. The terrorist who came from Lebanon was able to speak Arabic, French, and English languages. The terrorist from Egypt was able to speak both fluent Arabic and English languages (Berger). Similarly, the terrorists who originated from the United Arab Emirates could speak fluent Arabic and broken English languages. The two terrorist brothers who planned the Boston Marathon bombings were able to speak Arabic, Chechen, Russian, and English languages (Singh et al.). Omar, the terrorist who killed 49 people in a nightclub in Orlando was a fluent Arabic and English speaker. Omar was born in America and he learned Arabic through his Islamic lessons.

The skin color of majority of terrorists who were involved in terrorist attacks in the United States has a light brown skin complexion. Besides, the terrorists used a variety of clothes depending on the occasion. However, those from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries such as Lebanon are fond of casual clothes wearing Jeans, T-shirts, but they also wear white robes during functions. At times, the terrorist could wear suits while travelling on international flights. The facial expression or reactions of the terrorists who have launched attacks on American soil was identifiable but they had learned the art of disguising it. According to U.S. authorities, several allies of the 9/11 attack terrorists were prevented from entering the U.S. due to suspicion arising from the presented documents or unusual behavior (Hoffman, Bruce, and Reinares). The terrorist who attacked a nightclub in Orlando, Omar, was described to have showed aggressive behavior and suspicious looks back at school (Stapleton). Most of terrorists showed unusual behaviors and suspicious looks while they were being checked at the airports by the immigration officers. However, since suspicious looks do not ascertain that a person is a terrorist without other evidence to prove the claim most terrorists went through the check points despite being suspected by the immigration officers.

In conclusion, the names of terrorists that have launched attacks against the United States have raised suspicion that immigrants who are Muslims might be potential terrorists. As a matter of national security, immigrants entering the U.S. have to be screened but those from Muslim-majority countries such as Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria turned down. The major problem is that the names of the Muslim immigrants raise concerns that the person might be radicalized or is a potential threat to national security.

Works Cited

Berger, Lars. “Foreign policies or culture: What shapes Muslim public opinion on political violence against the United States?” Journal of Peace Research51.6 (2014): 782-796.

Hoffman, Bruce, and Fernando Reinares, Eds. The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama Bin Laden’s Death. Columbia University Press, 2014.

Sandler, Todd. “The analytical study of terrorism: Taking stock.” Journal of Peace Research 51.2 (2014): 257-271.

Singh, Ajay K., et al. “Blast injuries: from improvised explosive device blasts to the Boston Marathon bombing.” Radiographic 36.1 (2016): 295-307.

Stapleton, A., and R. Ellis. “Timeline of Orlando nightclub shooting-CNN. Com.” (2016).

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