Violent Jihad

Report: DHS Official Protected San Bernardino Terror Suspect from Authorities

Martin “improperly delayed HSI agents” from detaining a possible terrorist and was “not candid with OIG investigators.”

BY Bruce Cornibe · | June 15, 2016

How is it that a federal official is allowed to impede a terrorism case and face no punitive repercussions? This is what happened in the case where U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-USCIS (part of the Department of Homeland Security-DHS) supervisor Irene Martin restricted access to five armed DHS agents. The agents were sent in response to FBI knowledge that Enrique Marquez, the man who allegedly provided weapons to the perpetrators of the San Bernardino shooting, was arranged to have an interview (along with his wife, Mariya Chernykh) with Martin’s personnel the day after the actual attack.

At the time Marquez and his wife were likely under suspicion by immigration services for their fraudulent marriage. Authorities later described the intention of the two individuals noting, “They wed so she could obtain immigration benefits unavailable to her as a Russian citizen without legal status in the U.S.” Investigators assert Marquez in return received $200 per month to ‘marry’ Mariya Chernykh (sister to the wife of Syed Raheel Farook/older brother to one of the terrorists in San Bernardino shooting).

So, when federal officials went to USCIS to apprehend Marquez, Martin denied them access to the suspect. Fox News reports on the incident:

It is not clear what disciplinary action Martin could face, but the report last week faulted her for making agents wait more than 90 minutes before she gave them access to related files on the suspected terrorist, and then she dismissively ordered them to hand copy files, according to the federal report. Agents told building security they intended to arrest Marquez to prevent him from killing anyone, but Martin had them wait 30 minutes just to see her. When questioned by IG investigators later, Martin repeatedly changed her story and also contradicted what other witnesses said.

“We concluded that the USCIS Field Office Director at the San Bernardino office improperly delayed HSI agents from conducting a lawful and routine law enforcement action…” the report said. “We have also concluded that the Field Office Director was not candid with OIG investigators during her interview.”

Jeff Carter, chief of media relations for USCIS, told FoxNews.com late Monday that “to his knowledge there is no further investigation into Martin,” and her transfer become acting deputy district director was planned before the audit was released.

So, Martin not only “improperly delayed HSI agents” from detaining a possible terrorist in Marquez, but also was “not candid with OIG investigators” and was allowed to be transferred to a different office. Retired special agent Claude Arnold commented about the seriousness of Martin’s actions stating, “When agents show up to CIS for a criminal investigation, they should never be impeded. That is obstruction of justice[.]” After reviewing the allegations in the OIG report, Arnold concluded that Martin’s actions were criminal. Further details include:

Martin is not named in the Inspector General report released June 1, but large portions of the 9-page report to Congress are dedicated to documenting the field supervisor’s actions. Internal sources confirmed Martin’s identity and the USCIS web site still lists her as the field supervisor.

“When interviewed by OIG, the field office director denied telling the agents they were not allowed to arrest, detain, or interview anyone in the building,” the report states. “However, her account is contradicted by that of the other HSI agents present.

“She also gave inconsistent answers about when she discovered that the HSI agents were investigating the shootings from the day prior….Either version is contradicted by the building security officer….”

So much for one of USCIS’s core values, integrity:

We shall always strive for the highest level of integrity in our dealings with our customers, our fellow employees and the citizens of the United States of America. We shall be ever mindful of the importance of the trust the American people have placed in us to administer the nation’s immigration system fairly, honestly and correctly.

Fortunately for DHS, Marquez wasn’t at his December 3 appointment at 12:30 PM because he admitted himself to a psychiatric ward after the shooting, the day before the interview. So, federal agents would not have been able to stop him at that time. However, Martin’s actions and her lack of punishment not only indicates a security liability within USCIS, but also gives insight into an undisciplined work environment.

Senator Ron Johnson, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman, succinctly highlights the purpose as to why the department was created in the first place saying, “The DHS was created to unify and improve coordinated efforts to defend our homeland…” Furthermore, considering the speed and magnitude in which terrorists operate today, it is vital our security and intelligence agencies are able to coordinate and respond rapidly to threats to our national security.

In addition to the Irene Martin case, DHS has gained a lot of negative publicity lately with revelations that the Orlando massacre terrorist Omar Mateen was employed by major DHS contractor, G4S Secure Solutions USA Inc. Our government’s hiring procedures and codes of conduct need re-evaluated more than ever. We need strong government leadership, discipline, and a more thorough vetting process for government service in order to effectively equip ourselves in defeating jihad. The American public deserves better.



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