FORT BLISS, TEXAS: A US female service member was assaulted by a “small group” of male Afghan refugees at Fort Bliss on September 19, the military confirmed. The FBI confirmed investigations into the assault are underway after it occurred at the Doña Ana Complex, where refugees are behind held. As news of the assault broke on social media, many were quick to slam the refugees as well as demand “accountability and answers” from the Joe Biden administration.
The Fort Bliss compound where refugees are being held is one of the many locations around the country. The complex was previously in the news in early September, after one refugee went viral for complaining about the rations he received, as we reported. In late August, Airbnb also chipped in to help with the crisis, offering to house 20,000 Afghan refugees globally for free. Most refugees though remain at military compounds awaiting clearance while thousands more are still trapped in Afghanistan after the US’ controversial exit.
Few details are available about the incident at Fort Bliss, but the FBI and the military have put out a short statement confirming it happened. Several politicians, including Ted Cruz have also slammed it as a security and vetting failure, while the base confirmed it was implementing additional security protocols.
Female service member assaulted
On September 19, the member, who was part of Operation Allies Welcome was assaulted “by a small group of male evacuees at the Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico,” Fort Bliss confirmed to Fox News. “We take the allegation seriously and appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” they added. It’s unclear who the service member was, and what exactly happened. The military confirmed that “counseling and support have been provided” to the individual.
ABC7 reported that the member was assaulted by at least three men at around midnight as she was arriving for duty. It occurred near her car but reportedly didn’t result in any serious injuries. We could not confirm if the service member has returned to duty. “Task Force-Bliss is also implementing additional security measures to include increased health and safety patrols, additional lighting, and enforcement of the buddy system at the Dona Ana Complex,” the statement continued. The FBI also issued a statement, telling Fox, “We received the referral from Fort Bliss and our office is investigating the allegation.” It is unclear if the individuals responsible have been identified and separated, or if any action has been taken against them.
This is the third instance of refugees being linked to crime and violence. Bahrullah Noori was charged for attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. At the same base, Mohammad Haroon Imaad was charged for assaulting his spouse. While all incidents appear to be isolated, it has sparked fears about the kind of refugees the US has vetted for evacuation.
‘This behavior is unacceptable’
Those fears were at the forefront of criticism on social media. “My prayers are with the courageous soldier and her family. This is yet another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan nationals. The American people deserve answers,” tweeted Rep. Yvette Herrell. Cruz said, “Joe Biden made a decision to shove tens of thousands people on planes to make it look like his botched evacuation was going well. The truth is he had no idea who he brought to the US. That’s why I led a letter today demanding accountability and answers.”
“These weren’t translators. They were people who tossed women and children aside to get on those planes,” one person commented. One GOP candidate said, “This is 100% the fault of Joe Biden and includes every Wisconsin Democrat politician – State and federal office holder. If you do not immediately renounce this violence is culpable. All of you. No excuses.” Rep Debbie Lesko tweeted, “I am outraged to hear that a female soldier was assaulted by a small group of Afghan refugees at Fort Bliss. This behavior is unacceptable.”
The Biden administration has not yet responded to the story, while the criticism continues to mount from the Republican party. There has been no official statement, or even tweet from members of the administration including Jen Psaki.
*story by MEAWW