EXCLUSIVE: A man charged with a child sex crime in New Mexico is an Afghan evacuee who came to the US last year via the Biden administration’s evacuation of Afghanistan, Fox News Digital has learned.
The US Attorney’s Office in New Mexico announced last week that Shah Mahmood Selab had appeared in federal court for the first time on a charge of coercion and enticement of a minor, but did not identify him as an Afghan refugee.
Selab allegedly approached a 12-year-old boy in a park near a school in Las Cruces. He is said to have asked her personal questions, before using his cell phone to show the victim “photos and videos that were sexual in nature” and then touching the youth in an inappropriate manner.
When the boy moved out, Selab is accused of punching him in the face multiple times. According to the complaint, the boy tried to call 911, retreated to a bathroom, but was followed by Selab, who then kissed the boy, put $20 in his hand and tried to force the victim to touch him. The boy eventually escaped when another person came into the bathroom. If convicted, Selab faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison. officials said.
Fox News Digital learned this week that Selab was paroled into the United States in November 2021. The office of Rep. Yvette Herrell, RN.M., later confirmed to Fox that he was on parole and that police had verified that he was Afghan. that he was paroled through Operation Allies Welcome.
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“This is a terrible crime, made possible by the complete lack of investigation and transparency following Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Herrell said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Our government should protect New Mexico families, not import twisted individuals who prey on children. That is why last year I pushed for a thorough investigation of the migrants the Biden administration has brought into our communities, and why I continue to fight for accountability.”
More than 88,000 Afghan citizens have come to the US through Operation Allies Welcome, which was launched last year during the US withdrawal effort from Afghanistan, and which officials describe as “an effort from across society to help vulnerable Afghans resettle.
Under Operation Welcome Allies (OAW), DHS used humanitarian parole, which is supposed to be used on a case-by-case basis for reasons of significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian reasons, to rapidly process tens of thousands of In doing so, the administration avoided the special immigrant visa (SIV) process and the US refugee admissions process, both of which can take years to complete.
DHS has repeatedly defended the screening and assessment process, even as Republicans and others have raised concerns.
“Before entering the United States, Afghan citizens must undergo a rigorous multi-level screening and verification process that includes biometric and biographical screenings by intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals from the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and State; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counterterrorism Center, and other Intelligence Community partners,” DHS said in a news release this week.
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However, a report from the DHS Office of Inspector General earlier this month found that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “did not always have data critical to properly assessing, investigating, or inspecting the evacuees”.
“As a result, DHS may have admitted or paroled individuals into the United States who pose a risk to national security and the safety of local communities,” the report continued.
A report from the Pentagon inspector general in February revealed that at least 50 evacuees were brought to the US whose information indicated “potentially serious security concerns” and that officials were unable to locate dozens with derogatory information.
Last month, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., revealed that a whistleblower had said that 324 people had entered with derogatory information. FBI Director Christopher Wray said “there are a number of people across our joint terrorism task forces that we’re actively trying to investigate as a result.”
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Herrell has been sounding the alarm about the investigation process and calling for more transparency since shortly after the evacuation began. In October of last year, he told Fox News Digital that the effort had been “rushed” and failed.
“We already know that there are weaknesses in the investigation process and assessments, and we want to make sure that as this continues, we can make sure that the American people feel safe about the entire process,” Herrell said.