U.S. authorities took rare action today to strip U.S. citizenship from a Paki-Muslim convicted in 2003 of terrorism-related charges related to an al-Qaeda plan to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. Instead of just being released in 2020, the Justice Department, under Donald Trump, has filed a civil suit to revoke the naturalization of Iyman Faris, a Pakistan native, who is currently serving a 20 year prison sentence for providing material support to the terrorist organization.
Washington Times Authorities said Faris was targeted for revocation because of his terrorism-related conviction but the civil action was based on evidence that he lied during the course of the naturalization process – including fraudulently using another man’s passport when he initially entered the United States in 1994 and lying about the circumstances under which he entered the United States.
“The Department’s Office of Immigration Litigation will continue to pursue denaturalization proceedings against known or suspected terrorists who procured their citizenship by fraud,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler. “The U.S. government is dedicated to strengthening the security of our nation and preventing the exploitation of our nation’s immigration system by those who would do harm to our country.”
Revocation of an immigrant’s U.S. citizenship is rare, but allowed under the Immigration and Nationality Act if naturalization was “illegally procured or procured by concealment of a material fact or by willful misrepresentation,” according to the DOJ.
Faris previously admitted to traveling to Pakistan and Afghanistan in late 2000 to meet with Osama bin Laden and other senior Qaeda leaders, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. When he returned to the United States in 2002, he investigated how blowtorches could be used to sever the Brooklyn Bridge suspension cables and sent updates back to al Qaeda operatives about the plan, finally telling them security was too tight around the bridge to carry out the attack.
Back on April 26, 2011, it was revealed that Al Qaeda has long had a fascination with suspension bridges, especially the Brooklyn Bridge. According to the New York Times, new documents reveal that before the 9/11 Attacks, methods for bringing down bridges were being taught at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 Attacks, reportedly told fellow terrorist Iyman Faris to “destroy the Brooklyn Bridge by cutting the suspension cables.”
Back on March 1, 1994, a Lebanese-born Muslim immigrant Rashid Baz (above) opened fire on a van full of 15 Chabad-Lubavitch Orthodox Jewish students traveling on the Brooklyn Bridge. Rashid Baz was convicted in 1995 of murdering Yeshiva student Ari Halberstam, 16, and trying to kill more than a dozen others in a van with a hail of bullets he fired on the Brooklyn bridge on March 1, 1994. Muslim killer finally admitted he picked targets of 1994 attacks because they were Jewish.