Adil Hasan (Al-Mashhadani)

Back to Database
Vetting Year
Time from U.S. Entry to Discovery
5 years, 5 months*
National Security Crime Type
Nationality of Perpetrator
Immigration Status Type
Refugee classification; Lawful Permanent Residence; Naturalized Citizenship
Agency Responsible for Failure
USCIS for Refugee classification, Lawful Permanent Residence and Naturalized Citizenship
Opportunities Missed
Nation(s) Vetting Occurred
Arresting Agency
Criminal Charges
Attempt to procure naturalization contrary to law
Case Outcome
Convicted 06/2017 for illegally procuring citizenship
Case Summary

Iraqi citizen Adil Hasan, his wife, and a brother entered the United States as refugees in 2008. They claimed persecution stories involving victimhood at the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq and settled in the Fairfax, Va., area.

But USCIS security screeners based in Amman, Jordan, granted their provisional refugee petitions despite discoverable intelligence information that the refugee brothers were hiding knowledge that a third brother served as an operative of Iraq’s particularly murderous al-Qaeda franchise – and also that they knew he had committed international terrorism crimes.

A much later FBI investigation, in 2016, discovered that in 2004, the third brother, Majid Al Mashhadani, was working with al-Qaeda and helped his terrorist group kidnap U.S. contractor Roy Hallums, who was kept for nearly a year blindfolded in a deplorable underground torture bunker. U.S. military forces freed Hallums and other captives in a 2005 raid on the bunker and arrested Al Mashhadani at the site.

The U.S.-based FBI investigation also found a fingerprint on a document inside the bunker that belonged to the brother who came to the United States with Adil Hasan, Yousif Al-Mashhadani, an FBI complaint affidavit stated. Was Yousif an al-Qaeda operative who got into America as a refugee? Court records do not elaborate on the meaning behind the Yousif al-Mashhadani fingerprint. But whether this refugee-approved brother, Yousif Al-Mashhadani, was a terrorist operative too, the investigation also found that, at the least, he, Adil Hasan, and Adil Hasan’s wife wittingly covered up their disqualifying relationships to the kidnapper brother and then fabricated elaborate persecution stories for themselves.

They did so on at least two occasions; during the 2007-2008 USCIS security screening for the provisional refugee applications in Iraq, possibly on presumed 2008 change-of-status applications for green cards, and in 2013 in applying for citizenship.

In his first refugee application, for instance, Hasan filled out a “Worldwide Refugee Admissions Family Tree” report in which he omitted the al-Qaeda Al Mashhadani brother. Hasan also dropped his own “Al Mashhadani” family name as part of the ruse, keeping the alias permanently after they settled in Virginia.

USCIS security screeners who used the family tree report for their approval apparently missed much discoverable derogatory information at their fingertips, judging from court records. For one, a fourth brother was identified in court records only as “A.M.”. A ranking Iraqi police official who would have been listed in the family tree document, he also applied for refugee status in 2007 and in August of that year provided all of the information about the terrorist brother and fully identified all of his other brothers to USCIS adjudicators.

Information that all the brothers were biologically related, nearly a year before Hasan’s application was granted, should have been available through basic fact-finding and would have enabled adjudicators to link them all and find the fraud.

Secondly, a fingerprint check of the brother who entered as a refugee with Hasan, Yousif Al-Mashhadani, likely was never conducted as required under post-9/11 security screening reforms. Otherwise, a fingerprint database check should have discovered that this brother’s fingerprint had been collected from inside the bunker, flagged the refugee applicant as a likely terrorist operative as well, and doomed the initial early applications of all family members.

Third, the FBI in 2016 found the persecution stories Hasan-Mashhadani, his wife, and brother Yousif initially provided to USCIS adjudicators to be riddled with simple discrepancies that seemed easily discoverable. Under FBI questioning about these back-story discrepancies, all were forced to admit to making up the basic facts of their claims years after USCIS adjudicators apparently accepted them at face value.

Hasan was arrested in March 2017, after eight years of living inside the United States. He pleaded guilty to immigration fraud, was sentenced to time served and was deported.