Home Rachel Ehrenfeld OP-ED: Protecting America from Hostile Afghan (and other) Refugees

OP-ED: Protecting America from Hostile Afghan (and other) Refugees



September 10, 2021

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Director of American Center for Democracy

The Biden administration used military, commercial and charter flights to secretly fly more than 123,000, mostly undocumented and unidentified Afghans out of the country. Reportedly, 50,000 to 100,000 have already been transported to the U.S.

Who are these Afghans?

We know the Biden “airlift” did not­­­ carry most of the Afghans who aided the U.S. forces, translators, and others who already held or were cleared for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV).

We also know the Afghans who were brought here, unlike thousands of SIV holders, were allowed access to the airport by the Taliban.

So, are these Afghans affiliated with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS? Are they friends or foes of the U.S.?

How can we find out who these people are? Is there a way to identify these Afghans’ intentions towards the U.S. or their compatibility quickly and reliably?

President Trump’s first executive order proclaimed:

“The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism. In order to protect Americans, we must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes towards our country and its founding principles.”

Section 2 of the active order states that the policy of the U.S. is to

“…protect our citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States, and (b) prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes” (emphasis added).

To prevent such individuals from entering the U.S., the EO requests the development of a uniform screening program. Regular and even rushed immigration procedures take time, which we cannot afford. An effective way to find out these undocumented illegal refugees’ intentions is a screening by an efficient, unbiased, and non-intrusive system.

It seems that unbeknown to the Trump administration at that time, a special system was already available, but deliberately ignored by the Obama administration. I wrote about it here on these pages, including most of what follows.

A sophisticated screening system was developed by an Israeli company years ago with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. (To prevent the appearance of promoting a specific company, we omitted its name). This system “is a leader in counter-terrorism and crime prevention behavior pattern recognition technologies,” says the company’s website. The “technology is used by law enforcement agencies [for] screening in airports and checkpoints [for] terrorists, illegal immigrants, smugglers, and secondary security screening of suspects.” It also helps with Corona health declaration intentional travelers screening.”

The system was developed by using “hundreds of man-years” of knowledge and experience and “joint efforts of studies with US Department of Homeland Security and security agencies in Israel” and elsewhere,” and “has an established track record in helping law agencies enforcement and enterprises to mitigate crimes and terrorist activities.”

The Cognito is an interrogation system that can determine in 5-7 minutes if an individual is harboring hostile intent. The system interviews the examinee with up to 36 questions while measuring the psychophysical signals of the human body. The system was tested and proved to be 95% accurate.

According to the company’s website, the system allows the screening of a large number of people in a short time. It “does not require operator training. One operator can handle simultaneously ten stations. It has a central management and database system that allows storing all tests results, analysis, and data mining, and is deployed and integrated with governmental agencies.” Using this system would eliminate the need to use often biased U.S. Consulate employees or rushed and overworked TSA agents.

Moreover, the system uses an automated decision-making system, which is “adaptable to a variety of different questioning contexts, different cultures, and languages. The examination lasts 5 minutes when there are no indications of harmful intent, and 7 minutes to ascertain it (with only 4% false positive, and 10% false negative).”

The COGNITO is used in 15 countries, including Israel, Singapore, India, and Mexico. It has helped security agencies globally to catch terrorists and solve crimes. Yet, the Obama administration refused to use the system, claiming that it “would constitute an intrusion on the privacy of those screened by the system” and “[i]t may reflect on visa applicants or immigrant’s civil rights.” However, foreigners applying for a U.S. visa are not protected by American laws.

Cognito and other similarly objective systems would not only assist in making America safer but also in keeping its policy and tradition of accepting refugees who do not wish us harm.

Do you think the Biden administration would utilize such technology to screen more than 100,000 undocumented Afghans it brought to the country or the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens flooding into the U.S. through the open southern border?


Majority of Interpreters, Other U.S. Visa Applicants Were Left Behind in Afghanistan – WSJ.com

Biden administration working to accommodate 50,000 Afghans on military bases – Reuters.com

Majority of Interpreters, Other U.S. Visa Applicants Were Left Behind in Afghanistan – WS.com

Read-the-draft-of-the-executive-order-on.pdf – .documentcloud.org

Protecting America from ill intended refugees – AmericanThinker.com

*Disclaimer: The author has no interest or contacts with Israeli company.

(Some of the information was previously published on AmericanThinker.com)

Photo credit: YouTube screengrab (cropped)

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is one of America’s most noted economic warfare and counter-terrorism scholars, who runs the American Center for Democracy and its Economic Warfare Institute. She has published hundreds of articles, numerous white papers and several books, including “Funding Evil” – How Terrorism is Financed; and How to Stop It.” She successfully lobbied New York and Congress to enact laws to protect American journalists, scholars, writers and publishers from the enforcement of foreign libel judgements in the U.S. Her efforts resulted in the passage of NY’s “Rachel’s Law” (2008), and the federal SPEECH Act, signed into law by Pres. Obama in 2010.