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An investigation is underway into an alleged attack on a female U.S. military service member by several male Afghan evacuees housed in Fort Bliss.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed to Fox News that it is investigating a referral from a Fort Bliss Afghan refugee housing complex in New Mexico alleging that a woman whose name and age are currently unknown was assaulted on September 19 by a “small group of male evacuees.”
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“We received the referral from Fort Bliss, and our office is investigating the allegation,” FBI Public Affairs Officer Jeanette Harper told Fox News.
Officials at Fort Bliss confirmed the report of the assault to Fox News.
“We can confirm a female service member who supports Operation Allies Welcome, reported to have been assaulted on September 19 by a small group of male evacuees at the Doña Ana complex in New Mexico,” the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Public Affairs said in a email notification. “We take the allegation seriously and have appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The safety and well-being of our service members, as well as all those at our installations, is paramount.”
The statement added that advice and support has been provided to the service member.
“Task Force-Bliss is also implementing additional security measures to include increased health and safety patrols, additional lighting and enforcement of the friend system at the Dona Ana complex,” the statement continued. “We will cooperate fully with the FBI and will continue to ensure that the service member who reports this assault is fully supported.”
Rep. Yvette Herrell, a Republican congresswoman representing New Mexico’s Second District of Congress, called the news a “rating error.”
“My prayers go out to the brave soldier and her family. This is another tragic failure in the investigation process for Afghan nationals,” Herrell tweeted. “The American people deserve answers.”
The alleged attack comes on the heels of two Afghan refugees being housed in Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy being prosecuted for federal crimes, including sexual assault on a minor assault and assault at home.
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Bahrullah Noori, a 20-year-old Afghan evacuee, is charged with attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor using force against that person, along with three other charges of having participated in a sexual act with a minor. according to a statement from the Ministry of Justice. In addition, 32-year-old Mohammad Haroon Imaad is charged with assaulting his wife by strangling and strangling her on September 17.
Republicans on Capitol Hill have responded to the news of violence perpetrated by Afghan refugees housed in the United States demanding response from the Biden administration.
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Thursday evening, Oklahoma Dens. James Lankford and four other Republican senators sent a letter to the Biden administration seeking more details on the manner in which Afghan refugees are being investigated.
“How many Afghan nationals are waiting for background checks at a transit point? How many Afghan nationals have been released on probation to the United States?” asked the Republican senators. “What specific categories, classes, or criteria make up the administration’s definition of ‘vulnerable Afghans’? How many individuals who have been released on probation into the United States fall into each category, class or criteria?”
Earlier this month, a Biden administration official categorically denied that anyone “concerned” had entered the country, saying there is a “second layer” of screening when a refugee arrives at a U.S. entry point.
“No one has entered the United States or has entered, giving cause for concern,” the official said. “The administration is working quickly and diligently to improve screening and control operations to make them more effective without compromising U.S. national security.”
Houston Keene and Alexandria Hoff contributed to this report