Three people convicted of crimes as a result of a terrorism-related investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) were later naturalized as U.S. citizens by the Obama administration, according to federal auditors.
The March 2011 audit (released on April 21, 2011) by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), entitled Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests and Costs, shows that three individuals were among “defendants where the investigation involved an identified link to international terrorism but they were charged with violating other statutes [not directly related to terrorism], including fraud, immigration, drugs, false statements, and general conspiracy charges,” referred by DOJ as Category II terrorism-related cases.
The three individuals in question can be found in a DOJ list of unsealed terrorism-related investigations conducted from Sept. 11, 2001 through Mar. 18, 2010. There are 403 defendants on that list of which, according to the GAO, at least 43 percent were aliens--both legal (26 percent) and illegal (17 percent)--at the time they were charged with crimes.
“Prosecuting terror-related targets using Category II offenses and others is often an effective method--and sometimes the only available method--of deterring and disrupting potential terrorist planning and support activities,” explained the DOJ in the document that listed the defendants.
Staff members of GAO's Homeland Security and Justice team who worked on the audit told CNSNews.com in an e-mail that the three individuals were naturalized as U.S. citizens under President Barack Obama.
“One of the individuals was naturalized in late 2009. The other two were naturalized in 2010,” says the e-mail from the GAO.