Trump’s newest travel ban still wouldn’t have prevented any terrorism-related deaths – Washington Post

President Trump’s response to terrorist attacks is fairly predictable. Shortly after the attacks occur — assuming they’re presumed to have been committed by individuals who might be linked to the Islamic State — Trump will tweet out something about how the incident bolsters his call for new restrictions on immigration. It has happened so often that we can point to compilations of examples, instead of just individual occurrences.

After the attack in New York on Tuesday, though, there was a slight shift in the pitch that Trump was making. Normally, he argues that the incident necessitates the implementation of his travel ban — as he did after a failed bombing on a train in London this year.

After Tuesday, though, Trump’s pitch was not for the travel ban, but for new extra-extreme vetting of immigrants.

Why the difference? Perhaps in part because Trump’s travel ban, now in its third iteration, wouldn’t have prevented the entry of Sayfullo Saipov, the suspect in the New York attack. Saipov moved to the United States seven years ago from Uzbekistan, a country that hasn’t been included in any version of Trump’s ban.

(The countries currently included in the ban — which was blocked by a federal court — are Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iran, North Korea, Chad and Venezuela. Sudan and Iraq have been removed after appearing on earlier iterations.)

In June, we noted that Trump’s travel ban(s) wouldn’t have actually prevented any terrorism-related deaths in the United States over the past 20 years, listing out all of the relevant examples. Here’s that list, with two changes: the addition of Saipov and consideration of whether any of the bans would have prevented the incidents.

  • August 1997. Two men with Jordanian passports are arrested in New York before they could bomb public transit in the city. Would any ban have prevented this? No. Jordan isn’t on the list.
  • December 1999. A man from Algeria is arrested after entering the United States in Washington. His car is loaded with explosives; he planned to attack Los Angeles International Airport. Would any ban have prevented this? No, and he was detained at the border anyway.
  • September 2001. The coordinated attacks in New York and the Washington area, committed by 19 individuals from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. Would any ban have prevented this? No. None of those countries is on the list.
  • December 2001. Richard Reid, a British citizen, attempts to light a shoe bomb on a plane to Miami. Would any ban have prevented this? No, Britain is not on the list.
  • July 2002. A shooter from Egypt opens fire at an El Al counter at LAX. Would any ban have prevented this? No, Egypt is not on the list.
  • March 2006. An Iran-born U.S. citizen drives an SUV into people at the University of North Carolina, injuring nine. Would any ban have prevented this? Possibly. He came to the country at age 2 before being naturalized. It’s not clear whether his parents had family in the country at the time.
  • July 2006. A man opens fire at a Jewish organization in Seattle. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a citizen, born in the United States.
  • June 2009. A man opens fire at a military recruiting center in Little Rock. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a citizen, born in the United States.
  • November 2009. The shooting at Fort Hood, Tex. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a citizen, born in the United States.
  • December 2009. A Nigerian-born man attempts to detonate a bomb on a flight to Detroit. Would any ban have prevented this? No. Nigeria isn’t on the list.
  • May 2011. Two Iraqi nationals are arrested in Bowling Green, Ky., for aiding terrorist attacks outside the United States. Would any ban have prevented this? Yes. The initial version of the ban included Iraq.
  • April 2013. Two bombs are detonated at the Boston Marathon. Would any ban have prevented this? No. The Tsarnaev brothers were born in the Soviet Union and Kyrgyzstan. One was a naturalized citizen, the other a green-card holder.
  • April-June 2014. A man in Washington murders several people in separate incidents. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a citizen, born in the United States.
  • October 2014. A man in Queens attacks police officers with a hatchet. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a citizen, born in the United States.
  • May 2015. Two men attempt to attack an event in Garland, Tex. Would any ban have prevented this? No. Both were citizens, born in the United States.
  • July 2015. A man opens fire at military installations in Chattanooga. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a naturalized citizen from Kuwait.
  • December 2015. A married couple attack a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif. Would any ban have prevented this? No. One was a citizen, born in the United States, and the other was a native of Pakistan, not included in the ban.
  • January 2016. A man shoots a police officer in Philadelphia. Would any ban have prevented this? No. The shooter appears to have been a native-born citizen.
  • February 2016. A man attacks diners at a restaurant in Ohio with a machete. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a native of Guinea and held a green card.
  • June 2016. A man open fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people. Would any ban have prevented this? No. The shooter was born in Queens.
  • September 2016. A man stabbed people at a mall in Minnesota, injuring several. Would any ban have prevented this? No. The attacker was born in Kenya and moved to the United States when he was 3 months old.
  • September 2016. A bomb is detonated in Manhattan. Would any ban have prevented this? No. The attacker was born in Afghanistan and was a naturalized citizen.
  • November 2016. A student at Ohio State University drives his car into a crowd, injuring 11. Would any ban have prevented this? Possibly. The attacker was born in Somalia and had been living in Pakistan when he immigrated in 2014.
  • January 2017. A man opens fire at the Fort Lauderdale airport. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a citizen, born in the United States.
  • January 2017. A man fatally shoots a transit worker in Denver. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a citizen, born in the United States.
  • June 2017. A man stabs a police office at an airport in Flint, Mich. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He was a citizen of Canada and Tunisia.
  • November 2017. Saipov allegedly drives down a bike path in New York City, killing eight. Would any ban have prevented this? No. He emigrated from Uzbekistan.

Several incidents might (might) have been prevented — but no one was killed in those incidents.

New America’s analysis of terrorist attacks in the United States offers similar information in a visual format. Mohammed Taheri-Azar was the perpetrator of the attack in March 2006; Abdul Razak Ali Artan was the attacker at Ohio State.

So, on Wednesday, no discussion of the travel ban and, instead, a look at vetting.

But there’s cold water to be dumped on that, too. According to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-N.Y.), Saipov was radicalized only after arriving in America — meaning that no vetting, no matter how extreme, is likely to have filtered him out upon his arrival in the country.

Trump’s newest travel ban still wouldn’t have prevented any terrorism-related deaths – Washington Post

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