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DHS Report Casts Doubt On Trump's Basis For Travel Ban

A review performed by the Homeland Security Department's Intelligence and Analysis office found that there is insufficient evidence that the seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump's travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States.

The DHS department's document, obtained by The Associated Press, "assesses the international terrorist threat to the United States and worldwide by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen," all of which were included in Trump's travel ban. Analysts used unclassified information from Department of Justice press releases on terrorism-related convictions and terrorist attack perpetrators killed in the act, Department of State visa statistics, the 2016 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, and the Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 to deliver its findings.

DHS concluded that "country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity," and that since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, primarily U.S.-based individuals who participated in terrorism-related activities for a foreign terrorist organization came from 26 different countries, with no one country representing more than 13.5 percent of the terrorists. Of the 82 individuals who were U.S.-based and involved in terrorism-related activity, just more than half were native-born United States citizens. Of the foreign-born individuals, the top seven countries they hail from are Pakistan, Somalia, Bangladesh, Cuba, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Uzbekistan. Only Iraq and Somalia were included in Trump's travel ban.

Of the seven countries included in Trump's ban, "relatively few citizens ... compared to neighboring countries, maintain access to the United States," notes Uproxx. While terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen pose a threat of attacks in the United States, groups in Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan are regionally focused. Trump cited terrorism concerns as his reason for instituting the now on hold ban on individuals from these predominantly Muslim countries, according to the AP. His executive order also halted the refugee program.

The DHS report found Syria, where refugees were being resettled from in the United States, has not had any foreign-born individuals commit terrorist acts against the United States.

Homeland Security spokeswoman Gillian Christensen gave the following response to the obtainment of the report by the AP: "While DHS was asked to draft a comprehensive report on this issue, the document you're referencing was commentary from a single intelligence source versus an official, robust document with thorough interagency sourcing. The ... report does not include data from other intelligence community sources. It is incomplete."

Trump requested that the report be completed as part of an internal review after his travel ban was blocked, but White House spokesman Michael Short said that this is not the full report the president requested. Short said he believes "the intel community is combining resources to put together a comprehensive report using all available sources, not just open sources, and which is driven by data, not politics."

Trump said he will be issuing a new travel ban order soon. Senior White House Policy Adviser Stephen Miller told Fox News' "First 100 Days" that the revised version would "have the same basic policy outcome."

Sources: AP via Chicago Tribune (2), Fox News, Uproxx / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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