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Feds indict two Afghan refugees on child sex, spousal assault charges

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A federal grand jury in Wisconsin indicted two Afghan refugees Wednesday, accusing them of committing crimes while they were staying at a local Army base after being taken out of Afghanistan.

Bahrullah Noori, 20, is charged with one count of attempting to engage in a sex act with a minor by force and three counts of engaging in a sex act with a minor. One of the latter counts also alleges the use of force. Investigators say both of Noori’s alleged victims were under the age of 16.

The indictment specifically alleges that Noori touched the genitalia of one of his victims on three separate occasions while at Fort McCoy, an Army installation located approximately 100 miles northwest of Madison. One of the alleged assaults occurred in a barrack, while the other two took place in a bathroom.

The second indictment charges 32-year-old Mohammad Haroon Imaad with assaulting his wife on Sept. 7 by strangling and suffocating her. A complaint states that Imaad’s wife claimed to soldiers through an interpreter that her husband had also struck their children on “multiple occasions” and alleged that he “beat me many times in Afghanistan to the point I lost vision in both eyes.”

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Mohammad Haroon Imaad (R) and Bahrullah Noori were charged on accounts of child sex and domestic assault.
Dane County Sheriff

In a second interview, Imaad’s wife alleged that her husband had raped her in addition to abusing her verbally and physically. At one point, she claimed, he had threatened to “send her back to Afghanistan where the Taliban could deal with her” and also told her “that nine women have been killed since getting to Fort McCoy and that she would be the tenth.”

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Both Noori and Imaad made initial appearances in court last week and were due to be arraigned Thursday.

Noori faces a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted on the charges alleging use of force and up to 15 years if convicted of the other two charges. Imaad faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the single charge he faces.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that staff overseeing the admission of refugees to Fort McCoy had reported “multiple cases of minor females who presented as ‘married’ to adult Afghan men, as well as polygamous families.” It was not immediately clear whether one of those reports involved Noori.

During the evacuation of Afghanistan last month, Republican lawmakers raised concerns that the Biden administration had allowed Afghans with criminal records or ties to terror groups to be flown out of the war-torn country while thousands of others who assisted US-led NATO forces during the 20-year war against the Taliban were left to fend for themselves in hostile territory.

One of the suspects touched the genitalia of one of his victims on three separate occasions while at Fort McCoy.
One of the suspects touched the genitalia of one of his victims on three separate occasions while at Fort McCoy.
U S Army/UPI/Shutterstock

On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted to lawmakers on Capitol Hill that of the 60,000 Afghan nationals evacuated during the US troop withdrawal, approximately 7 percent are US citizens, around 6 percent are lawful permanent residents and roughly 3 percent hold Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) meant for the US military’s Afghan allies.

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The remaining 50,000-plus Afghans, according to Mayorkas, include SIV applicants whose applications have not been finalized, locally employed staff, journalists, human rights activists and other vulnerable Afghans who would qualify under refugee status.

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