Due to increasing poverty rates and failures in Mexican internal security, a new wave of automotive theft is appearing to our south. While armed theft of secure cargo, such as monetary transports, have always been common, more and more criminals are stumbling upon surprise cargos.
Over the past few years, there has been a spike in criminals hijacking trucks carrying radioactive material, mostly waste from medical facilities. Most cases have been a result of dumb-luck, criminals hoping they are hijacking something of value on the open market, only to abandon the truck and its cargo intact.
In December 2013, criminals hijacked a truck carrying containers filled with cobalt-60, a radioactive material used in medical equipment. Following the robbery, the culprits opened the containers, only to realize it had no monetary value. The trucks were later found abandoned in a field, and the culprits were apprehended after they entered treatment for radiation poisoning.
Last week, a truck carrying Iridium-192, was hijacked in the Mexican state of Tabasco. Authorities have yet to locate the cargo of highly radioactive waste, and have put five other Mexican states on notice until it is found.
These few instances alone should not start to raise alarms in the United States; however, paired with increased number of Islamic terrorists in the region, we should begin to take note.
While it has long been believed that terrorist organizations have wanted to enter the United States through our southern border, recent activity details their increased willingness.
In a hearing for the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Francis Taylor stated,
there have been Twitter, social media exchanges, among ISIL adherents across the globe about [the possibility of infiltrating the United States through the southern border]
Then came California Representative Duncan Hunter’s claim statement that,
at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas. They caught them at the border, therefore we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them then you know there’s going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol
Finally came the Judicial Watch report last week that highlighted an ISIS camp eight miles for the United States border in the Anapra neighborhood of Juárez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Where there once was no use for stolen radioactive waste, the increased number of terrorists in Mexico has created a market. Should any terrorist get a hold of this kind of dangerous material, a dirty bomb could easily be at the center of the next attack on American soil.
The security of the southern border of the United States has long been debated between the Democratic and Republican parties. The national media only covers the affect of illegals on employment, crime levels, and strain on the American social system. Some pundits on the Hill argue that other than the violent crime resulting from the drug trade, the southern border is secure.
While this may be true or false depending on one’s party lines, there is one undeniable fact: the insecurity in Mexico could facilitate the next major terror attack in the United States.