New York: Trump administration officials have downplayed an intelligence report by the Homeland Security Department (DHS) that contradicts the White House’s main argument for implementing a travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries.
According to Fox News, the report that was viwed by some media outlets determined that the “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.”
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The Trump administration has taken the position that immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries should be blocked from the U.S. due to their terror risk. Trump used terrorism a primary justification when he announced the now court-blocked travel ban in late January.
The intelligence report found that in the past six years, foreign-born individuals who were “inspired” to strike in the U.S. came from 26 different countries.
A senior administration official told The Wall Street Journal that the DHS report’s assessment overlooked key information and the finished product that the White House requested has not been completed. The White House called the report politically motivated. Officials said it overlooked some information that supported the ban. The draft report determined that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.
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Gillian Christensen, a DHS spokeswoman, does not dispute the report’s authenticity, but says it was not a final comprehensive review of the government’s intelligence.