This is a ridiculous story… that really feels like it could only happen in New York City.
Liana Barrientos is a 39-year old Bronx resident who has a very interesting get rich quick scheme. She marries men from overseas so that they can get quick and easy entrance into America and… well, that’s it. Here’s the thing, it took getting arrested for not paying subway fare to finally figure out that she’d been marrying men to get them into the country.
Not just a few men either; Barrientos married 10 different men, 9 of whom she never even met, over the course of a decade. The majority of the men were from Muslim nations, most identified as “red flag nations,” and according to the law she is actually still married to several of them! The serial bigamist has thus far only admitted to taking money for one of the marriages, and has not told authorities who, if anyone, helped her do this.
The whole scenario reveals a massive breach in our homeland security and must be terrifying folks who work in the defense industry.
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.
“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.”
Her history as a serial marrier started in November 1999 when she said I do with Mohammed Gerbril in Eastchester. Two years later, she married Ahmad Allam in Rye.
Then, just 18 days later, she went to Yonkers to marry Habibur Rahman. In the coming years, she would also get married in Hempstead, Ramapo, Greenburgh, Mamaroneck, White Plains and finally in the Bronx, where the previous nuptials were all discovered.
The men whom Barientos is alleged to have married, most without benefit of divorce, are identified as:
- 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
Seven of the men filed for permanent status based on marriages to her.
What is truly amazing about this entire story is that even after one of her many husbands was deported (by a terrorism task force no less) … no one caught onto what Barrientos was doing! Her shady marriages to men from red flag nations, and at least one man who was on our counter terrorism radar, should stimulate action in Washington. The question is, what can anyone actually do about this? The entire story seems more like a problem with paperwork and information than really a lapse in our counter terrorism fight.
Whatever happens next, I’m sure Barrientos’ next perspective husband will think long and hard before he “pops the question.”