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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    On a star in the sky

    SC: Sarhan, Ala Hassan Born 1969 found 7/03/2008 # 193

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    This case sounds complicated.

    Photograph of the Mr. Sarhan while alive in this article, "Missing man was refugee from Iraq" in The Post and Courier on August 25, 2008: Link here.

    The man whose skeleton was recovered recently from a car in a McClellanville creek had arrived in the United States as a refugee from Iraq in the early 1990s.

    Investigators think that once here, Ala Hassan Sarhan became involved in a world of cocaine dealing that led to his demise eight years ago.

    Though the Charleston County Sheriff's Office has made arrests in the case, much of the homicide victim's past remains a mystery. Authorities have not been able to track down Sarhan's relatives. Questions also linger about how he arrived in America after the first Gulf War and why he later moved to the Lowcountry.

    "We're looking for his family; we want to do the right thing," sheriff's Lt. Kevin Whited said. "But how do you find somebody in a war-torn region?"

    A friend reported Sarhan missing on July 19, 2000, saying that she last saw him a week earlier. She told deputies that he was "from somewhere in the Middle East" and that he had no family in the U.S., according to a missing person report.
    It looks like police have had little information provided to them by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

    Sarhan's earlier past is even less clear.

    He entered America in 1992, about a year after the first Gulf War. He arrived in New York and spent some time in North Carolina before moving to the Lowcountry.

    "He came to this country as a political refugee," Watson, one of the sheriff's investigators on the case, said. "As for the reasons why he came here, we don't have that information at all. Based on what we gathered, he had some dealings with the Iraqi military ... He was injured by a land mine. He does have family in Iraq."

    The U.S. Department of State could not answer questions about Sarhan's visa because the agency does not release information on individual visas, said spokesman Karl Duckworth.

    A representative from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not respond to a request about Sarhan's past.
    Sheriff's investigators still want to know which agency sponsored him to come here as a refugee, what activities made him run afoul of Iraq's now-defunct Baathist regime and where they can find his surviving relatives.
    Curious how well the government tracks and vets refugee applications if agency sponsorship, application reasons, and family are not known.

    More articles here:

    Remains belong to missing man
    Man guilty in 2000 killing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    federal & local

    It seems there is not much cooperation between feds and state. Surely his refugee application had some information about his background/family? Is that confidential? Was a security matter?

    Surely, after all these years the records can be released thru freedom of information or something?

    Good golly!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

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