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November 5, 2014Philadelphia, PA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE deports Afghan doctor with ties to terrorist group

PHILADELPHIA – An Afghan doctor convicted of immigration fraud was deported late Tuesday and turned over to authorities in Kabul, Afghanistan, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Hayatullah Dawari, 62, of Philadelphia was sentenced to two years in federal prison Sept. 19 after an investigation found the man had ties to the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin anti-western insurgent group active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dawari pleaded guilty to two counts of immigration fraud, and the judge suspended the sentence in favor of immediate deportation.

Dawari became a lawful permanent resident Nov. 11, 2008, and applied for U.S. citizenship in November 2013. In his plea, he admitted that he lied about his ties to the organization in his application for U.S. citizenship and omitted that he had a previous arrest in Russia in the late 1980s.

“Our county is undoubtedly safer without this man whose ties to potential threats are alarming,” said Philadelphia ERO Field Office Director Tom Decker. “It’s a testament to the diligence of special agents and officers that this man was found out and is now back in the hands of the Afghanistan authorities.”

An investigation by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the Philadelphia Police Department found Dawari still maintained contact with the group’s associates in the United States and Pakistan. HSI and JTTF special agents executed a search warrant at his home in January and seized a book sent from Pakistan that had a secret, coded message glued between two pages.

As part of Dawari’s guilty plea, it required that he would be sentenced to two years in prison but suspended due to an accompanying order requiring his transfer without undue delay into ICE custody for uncontested removal from the United States. He also agreed to relinquish his status as a lawful permanent resident, and he is now rendered permanently inadmissible to the United States.