VIdeo: Woman running immigration bigamy scam charged ... with not paying subway fare

Okay, she’s also charged with felonies relating to at least ten marriages in an elaborate scheme to commit immigration fraud, but it’s the subway fare that will trip her up most, I’m sure. Liana Barrientos had been simultaneously married to as many as eight men at one time, and one of her “husbands” got deported in 2006 to Pakistan after an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. That leads to a curious question … just how did Barrientos remain free for years after that?

The case was brought to the attention of the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security’s
Investigation Division.

They indicated that seven of the men are from so-called “red-flagged” countries, which included Egypt, Turkey, Georgia, Pakistan, and Mali.

Authorities say that in 2006, groom number eight Rashid Rajput was deported to his home country of Pakistan following an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Barientos lived in a Bronx building until recently with her boyfriend, a man who is apparently not one of the 10 men she is alleged to have married.

“This is a huge breach in security,” national security expert Manny Gomez said. “If someone could remarry 10 times without bringing it to the attention of the authorities, potentially an al-Qaeda plant could come in, marry this woman and be in this country illegally, plotting, recruiting, perhaps even executing a terrorist attack.”

It seems like that’s what Barrientos and al-Qaeda may have already had in mind. Barrientos admitted that she’d never seen nine of the ten men once authorities caught up to her. The list of her husbands should have raised concerns years ago:

–Mohamed Gebril, of Egypt: Married November 1999, divorced in April of 2002
–Ahmed Allam, of Egypt: Married November 2001, divorced November of 2004
–Habibur Rahman, of Bangladesh: Married November 2001, currently married
–Davit Koridze, of Georgia: Married February 2002, currently married
–Duran Goktepe, of Turkey: Married March 2002, divorced in January of 2007
–Aliaksandr Paharelau, of Czechoslovakia: Married March 2002, possibly divorced in January of 2005
–Vakhtang Dzneladze, of Georgia: Married May 2002), divorced in February of 2007
–Rashid Rajput, of Pakistan: Married July 2002), currently married
–Kakhaber Khorbaladze, of Georgia: Married August 2002, divorced in August of 2007
–Salle Keita, of Mali: Married March 2010, currently married

Note that most of these “marriages” took place after 9/11 in the city most devastated by it. Coincidence? After Rajput got caught and deported, Barrientos seemed to have gotten out of the business for a while. In 2010, though, the marriage to a Mali citizen should have also raised suspicions, given the unrest in the African nation, which nearly fell to al-Qaeda two years ago thanks to an explosion of terror networks in post-Qaddafi Libya.

ABC’s New York affiliate wonders, “So how did she never get caught?” How did the investigation into Rajput miss Barrientos entirely? How many other Barrientoses are there, selling themselves as brides for potential terrorist infiltrators? If they can prove that Barrientos knew of the threat from Rajput, perhaps the government might consider espionage charges. And perhaps they should be connecting a few more dots along the way, too.

Jazz Shaw Jun 22, 2021 6:01 PM ET