Female American soldier reports being assaulted by group of male Afghan refugees being housed at Fort Bliss in New Mexico
- A female US soldier said she was assaulted by a group of male Afghan refugees as she arrived for work at the Army’s For Bliss base in New Mexico
- Reports say that at least three Afghan men attacked her on September 19
- Refugees who were airlifted from Afghanistan were being housed at the base
- The solider received medical care and counseling and has physically recovered
- ‘This is yet another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan nationals,’ said Rep. Yvette Herrell, referencing two other refugees who were arrested days ago in the US Air Force camp in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin
The FBI has opened an investigation into the assault of a female solider by several male Afghan refugees at the US Army’s Fort Bliss base, in New Mexico.
The alleged assault took place on Sunday, at around midnight, when at least three men allegedly attacked the soldier near her car after she arrived for work at the Dona Ana Complex, which had been accepting refugees airlifted out of Afghanistan are housed, ABC 7 reports.
‘We can confirm a female service member supporting Operation Allies Welcome reported being assaulted on September 19 by a small group of male evacuees ,’ said Lt. Col. Allie Payne, director of Public Affairs for Fort Bliss and the 1st Armored Division.
‘We take the allegation seriously and appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.’
The female soldier has not been identified.
The assault took place at the Army’s Dona Ana Complex at the Fort Bliss Base in New Mexico. Pictured, Afghan refugees being processed at the camp on September 10
The base began setting up tents and taking in refugees from Afghanistan in August
Refugees stood in line to find housing in the Dona Ana village complex
A man walks with a child inside the complex. Servicemembers are posted at the camp to help the refugees who were airlifted out of Afghanistan
The solider has received medical care and counseling following the assault. She was reported to have recovered from her physical injuries.
Payne added that more security measures, including improved lighting and enforcing ‘buddy system,’ were being added at the camp.
There are nearly 10,000 refugees being housed at the base, USA Today reported.
Special Agent Jeanette Harper, of the FBI’s El Paso division, confirmed that the agency was investigating the matter.
US Rep. Yvette Herrell, who represents the area, called the news a vetting failure, Fox reports.
‘My prayers are with the courageous soldier and her family. This is yet another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan nationals,’ Herrell tweeted. ‘The American people deserve answers.’
Families were given quarters at the camp after being screened and vetted
The Army said it was stepping up security measures at the camp following the assault
The assault comes days after two Afghan refugees at the US Airforce base camp in Wisconsin were arrested.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that Bahrullah Noori, 20, was being charged with attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor, using force against that person, along with three other counts of engaging in sex with a minor.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Haroon Imaad, 32, is facing domestic assault charges after allegedly choking and suffocating his wife on September 17.
Both acts reportedly happened while the two were staying at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin – where they were taken to following their evacuation from Afghanistan.
They were both taken off of the base and are now being held at Dane County Jail.
They were scheduled to be arraigned at a federal court in Madison on Thursday.
Bahrullah Noori, left, is being charged with attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. Mohammed Haroon Imaad, right, is facing domestic assault charges after allegedly choking his wife
If convicted, Noori faces a minimum of 30 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison for the use of force charge alone, with a maximum of 15 years on the other charges.
Imaad’s alleged victim told investigators he choked her, and ‘threatened to send her back to Afghanistan where the Taliban could deal with her,’ according to a criminal complaint obtained by WISN.
Imaad faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison
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