So, just for those who decry the Trump Administration’s desire to implement harsher vetting of refugees entering the United States, here’s a tidbit of news that will ruin your morning: the bomber who attacked the London tube train Friday morning was, drum roll, please —
An 18-year-old refugee from Syria who arrived in Great Britain at the age of 15.
Here’s what we know of his story. Arrested by Kent police as he tried to purchase a ferry ticket to Calais, the teenager reportedly had migrated to the “Jungle camp” at Calais when he was 15. Because he was not with his parents, he was allowed entrance to the United Kingdom, where he was processed through a migrant center in Kent, then taken into a foster family’s home in Sunbury on Thames.
What is unclear is whether the terrorist was a genuine refugee or if he had been sent by Islamic State. Will Geddes, CEO of security consultants ICP, stated, ‘“I think the age of the man arrested is significant, we are not talking about people in their 40s or 50s, we are talking about young people. This is a generational struggle that will be difficult to root out.”
As Jim Geraghty of National Review points out, there are two possibilities, and the second may be worse than the first:
The notion that this young man was some sort of ISIS sleeper is, in a twisted way, reassuring; it means that he was always secretly driven by a hateful ideology that he successfully hid from everyone. The more unnerving – and, I’d argue, plausible – possibility is that he came to London as a terrified teenage orphan, given an opportunity to start a new life with a (presumably) caring foster family in one of the greatest and freest countries of the world… and he absorbed the enthusiasm for radical jihadism and terrorism that is incubating in certain corners of society in the United Kingdom. If all of this checks out, it indicates that the danger to society doesn’t really come from refugees… it comes from how life in the U.K. can change refugees.
The U.S. Supreme Court has not completely blocked President Trump’s executive order barring certain refugees and countries of origin. That sounds more and more necessary as events such as the London bombing occur.
The chronology of events regarding Trump’s executive order regarding immigration looks like this: In January, Trump issued an executive order aimed at temporarily banning travel from seven countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia. The order banned travel for 90 days, halted the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, and indefinitely suspended the resettlement of Syrian refugees. One week later, a federal judge in Washington State put the entire travel ban on hold.
In March, Trump signed a revised order, eliding Iraq from the list of targeted countries for the travel ban and removing the indefinite restriction on the admission of Syrian refugees. In mid-March, Maryland and Hawaii judges blocked the new order. The Fourth and Ninth Circuits primarily agreed to uphold the lower court rulings. In late June, the Supreme Court decided to allow a limited version of the order to take effect, although it stipulated that the ban could only apply to refugees and travelers who did not have a “bona fide” relationship to a person or entity in the U.S.