The manhunt is still underway for suspect Anis Amri - the 24 year-old Tunisia man wanted in connection to the Berlin Christmas market attack that killed 12 people and injured dozens more earlier this week.
Amri’s asylum request was denied by German authorities last summer. Nevertheless, the attack has reignited concerns over Europe’s refugee crisis, and the decision by Germany to take in over 1 million refugees this past year.
The Berlin attack also came just days after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after learning that 175 people may have been approved for naturalized U.S. citizenship before being properly vetted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Name Check database. Goodlatte said he was tipped off by an anonymous email
In the past five years alone, more than four million people have been sworn-in to become naturalized U.S. citizens. Since October 2015, close to 100,000 refugees from all over the world have been admitted to the U.S., according to a review of Refugee Processing Center data.
Yet - as experts have pointed out - the vetting process in the U.S. continues to hit snags.
And those snags are being discussed online.
“Not all the records that we have on immigration are uploaded into an electronic form. They’re not digitized. This is long overdue,” said David Inserra, Policy Analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, in Washington. “There’s a series of problems occurring at DHS and really we need to get to the bottom of what’s going on there.”
One solution President-elect Donald Trump (R) called for before his election was his so-called “Muslim ban,” which Trump described last year after the San Bernardino attack as “a total and complete shutdown of all Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
Trump's promise of such vetting has sparked conversation on social media.
We spoke to Inserra both before and after the Berlin attack. Both times, he pointed out that vetting alone wouldn’t have stopped the attacks that have occurred on U.S. soil since 9-11.
“Ninety-three Islamist-inspired terrorist attacks or plots since 9-11, 82 of those have been homegrown, folks who are already here when they radicalized,” Inserra pointed out before the Berlin attack.
After that attack he said, “A lot of these threats are coming from the here in the homeland and that’s, I think, where the greater issue is right now.”
Nevertheless, Inserra has insisted that the incoming Trump Administration tackle vetting issues at the DHS as a key priority.
For more, check out the 60 Second Circa.