A formal investigation has been launched regarding an alleged assault by a group of Afghan refugees against a female U.S. soldier at Fort Bliss in New Mexico.
A tip from the housing complex inside the base led to the opening of the investigation. Fox News reported that it was alleged that a “small group of male evacuees” attacked a female service member on September 19. The alleged victim’s identity has not been released.
An FBI public affairs officer confirmed the investigation based on a military referral. The Fort Bliss public affairs office, stated that the allegation is being taken seriously and the “safety and well-being” of military personnel is “paramount.”
The statement also provided that the base is implementing security measures to include additional patrols, lighting, and enforcement of a “buddy system” at the housing complex on the base. It added that the base will “cooperate fully” with the investigation and ensure that the alleged victim of the assault is “fully supported.”
The Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan has led many Republican lawmakers and commentators to warn of the potential hazards involved with admitting thousands of Afghan refugees into the country without thorough vetting procedures in place.
Significant questions have been raised about the screening process used inside Afghanistan and international staging areas before refugees were brought onto domestic facilities. The danger of admitting persons with criminal records and questionable backgrounds could lead to the resettlement of dangerous persons into the general U.S. population.
Rep. Yevette Herrell (R-NM) represents the district where Fort Bliss is located. She has referred to the alleged attack as a “vetting failure.” She stated in a tweet that the “American people deserve answers.”
On Thursday, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and four other Republican senators sent a letter to the Biden White House seeking information on the vetting processes being used to screen Afghan refugees. The letter seeks information on the total number of refugees awaiting additional screening at transit sites internationally and how many have already entered the country.