Illegal Immigrant Arrests At Ft. Bragg Raise Security Questions
Posted October 5, 2005 8:01 a.m. EDT
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Three illegal immigrant arrests this week at a Fort Bragg command center are raising new questions about the company those arrested worked for and about the security checks performed by the company and the U.S. government.
Federal officials said Tuesday that three people who taught foreign languages at the Joint Special Operations Command Center at Fort Bragg were arrested on immigration charges.
Two Indonesian natives, Nurkis Qadariah, 34, and Sayf Rimal, 37, were arrested Tuesday and charged with possessing and using false documents. Ousmane Moreau, 38, of Senegal, was arrested Monday and charged with being in the United States illegally.
The complaint against Qadariah and Rimal accuses them of using counterfeit resident alien cards and falsely saying that they were lawful permanent residents of the United States in order to get a job with BIB Consultants Inc. for work at Fort Bragg.
Before 2002, the U.S. military contracted various companies for language instruction, but BIB was picked in 2002 to teach linguistics to all special operations in the military.
In 2003, the government issued a
reviewing the deal between the military and BIB, and BIB won a five-year, $30 million contract.
Then, in 2004, Fort Bragg officials posted a job listing for an Indonesian language instructor.
BIB would not say whether it performed background checks on the three workers. WRAL's calls to BIB's Orlando offices and the home of its principle, Eduardo Blanchet, were not returned Wednesday.
Special Operations officials refuse to answer WRAL's questions as well. The would not say if they ran background checks on the three employees arrested this week.
A company that applied for similar contracts in the past, however, told WRAL that the level of background checks depends on the amount of security clearance the workers need.
A spokeswoman with the JSOC said Tuesday that the suspects did not have access to classified material.
Meanwhile, federal lawmakers are weighing in on the case. U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, R-North Carolina, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asking him to review procedures for access to military installations.