• September 17, 2021

Exclusive: DHS warns of potential white supremacist threats against Afghan refugees

 Exclusive: DHS warns of potential white supremacist threats against Afghan refugees

“’We assess that the relocation of Afghan nationals to the United States likely exacerbates [domestic violent extremists] grievances associated with immigrants and Muslim communities and could lead some to commit violence,’ the intelligence bulletin obtained by CBS News reads,” tweeted reporter Nicole Sganga. The report said that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas commented that “[w]e don’t have a specific, credible threat, but we do see such chatter. It is tragically unsurprising.”

That was the exact same sentiment echoed by Tim Young, press secretary for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). The resettlement agency has been one of the foremost leading advocates for Afghans allies and their families. “Disgusting but not entirely unsurprising,” Young tweeted. “I’ve received my fair share of hate mail, simply because of my nonprofit’s work to help refugees, especially those of Muslim faith.”

CBS News also reports that extremists have apparently rejoiced in the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Not at all shocking post-Jan. 6. Furthermore, “[w]hite supremacist and anti-government groups espousing the ‘great replacement’ theory sprung up online in August,” the report continued. If that sounds familiar to you, that’s because you have heard of it pretty recently, with Fox News via Tucker Carlson spouting it earlier this year. Right-wing media has since taken up fearmongering over Afghan refugees, including an appearance by former White House aide Stephen Miller on Carlson’s show. White supremacy layered on white supremacy, with a dollop of white supremacy on top. 

The fact is that evacuating Afghan allies and families to the U.S. is overwhelmingly popular, with one recent survey showing 81% support for allowing refugees to enter the U.S. Support was highest among Democrats, at 90%. But support was also high among independents and Republicans at 79% and 76%, respectively. Resettlement agencies and advocates have also said they’ve been inundated with volunteers and donations. Only 19% overall opposed, making them a small—though certainly annoyingly loud—group. But just because this fringe group doesn’t represent the majority of Americans doesn’t mean these families won’t be under threat.

“Just as we have experienced attacks against houses of worship and other locations selected because they were believed to be locations where immigrants were gathering, we are now evaluating the domestic terror threat environment, from the perspective of, could there be directed attacks at those being relocated here?” DHS Acting Undersecretary of Intelligence and Analysis John Cohen told CBS News. 

“The U.S. evacuated more than 65,000 Afghans, according to numbers provided by the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Of those, about 24,000 have arrived in the U.S. since Aug. 17. Another 23,000 are on U.S. military bases in Europe and 20,000 are in Asia.”

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