Illegal immigrant border crossings reach highest number in two years

Border Patrol agent Eduardo Olmos walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego. (Associated Press)

Border Patrol agent Eduardo Olmos walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego. (Associated Press)

Washington Times, by 

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday said agents are seeing a renewed surge of people attempting to sneak into the U.S. through the southwestern border over the past few months, with more than 46,000 caught in October alone.

It’s the highest tally since the surge of illegal immigrant children in the summer of 2014.

The numbers were released two days after the presidential election that culminated a campaign in which the porous condition of the southwest border was a heated topic.

Mr. Johnson said he is scrambling resources to try to contain the situation, including putting more illegal immigrants into detention and urging other countries to expedite the process of taking back their citizens.

“Our borders cannot be open to illegal migration. We must, therefore, enforce the immigration laws consistent with our priorities,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement announcing the numbers.

Republicans say the administration invited the surge through its lenient policies.

In a letter last week to Mr. Johnson, the House and Senate chairmen who oversee immigration policy said it appeared that illegal immigrants were trying to get into the U.S. ahead of the presidential election.

“The numbers are staggering,” the Republican lawmakers said.

Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said Mr. Johnson is acknowledging the problem only after its exposure by whistleblowers at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. She said the secretary’s declaration that the border isn’t open to illegal immigrants “is thoroughly insincere and meaningless.”

“If he wanted to put a stop to it, he could, but he has made it obvious that the administration is not interested in doing so, only in putting on a show of enforcement,” she said. “His robotic repetition of the administration’s enforcement priorities make it clear that the policy is for only the most egregious ‘worst of the worst’ criminal aliens to be removed, and no effort will be made to prevent other new arrivals from taking their place.”

President-elect Donald Trump ran his campaign on promises of cracking down on illegal immigrants and on beefing up border security. He reiterated that border security pledge on Thursday as he met with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, saying it was a top priority for his early days in office.

Rosemary Jenks, government relations director at NumbersUSA, which lobbies for stricter immigration controls, said Mr. Trump can end the surge by changing the tone from the top of government.

“There has to be a very clear public statement from the White House, Jan. 20 or Jan. 21, saying from this day forward we intend to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws,” she said. “I think that alone will make a huge difference at the border. I think the numbers will almost immediately start to slow down.”

She said the message needs to include a warning that the U.S. will no longer allow migrants to show up at the border and demand asylum.

California ports of entry are being overwhelmed by Haitians who fled their country for South America in 2010 and are now making their way to the U.S. to take advantage of lax immigration policies. They pay thousands of dollars to be smuggled to the border, often with the cooperation of Mexican authorities, and then queue up to enter and claim asylum.

Mr. Johnson acknowledged the spike in asylum-seekers but didn’t list any steps he has taken to combat the problem.

He said he has increased detention capacity to hold adult illegal immigrants traveling alone. Authorities are detaining 41,000 people, up from the daily average of the low 30,000s.

But that will not do much to solve the surge of children and families, who make up a large part of the increased flow, and whom the Obama administration has struggled to contain. Under the current interpretation of federal law, the children are quickly processed and sent to live with sponsors in the U.S. — oftentimes parents who are in the country without permission — while they go through a yearslong deportation process.

As for families, during the initial 2014 surge Mr. Johnson boosted bed space and committed to hold families until they could be deported — making it more likely that they would be kicked out. But after an outcry by immigrant rights advocates, the department relented and now tries to process and release families as quickly as possible.

All told, the 46,195 illegal immigrants nabbed at the border in October was the highest number since June 2014, at the peak of the surge of unaccompanied minors.

Border Patrol officials believe that for each illegal immigrant caught, a corresponding number get through. A spike in apprehensions likely means a spike in successful attempts as well.

Mr. Johnson urged parents considering making the perilous journey north with their children to instead apply for one of the special humanitarian programs the administration has created for migrants to enter the U.S. with permission.

The surge has been a political problem for the Obama administration for years.

In 2014, it helped derail chances for an immigration deal in Congress by exposing the continued holes in border security and the chaotic U.S. enforcement policy that takes years to deport determined illegal immigrants.

The number of illegal immigrant minors dipped in 2015 but spiked again in fiscal year 2016. The number of people traveling together as families hit an all-time high in past 12 months.

EXCLUSIVE: Agents Accuse Feds of Covering Up Record Border Detainee Numbers for 2016 Election

Breitbart Texas/Brandon Darby

Breitbart Texas/Brandon Darby

Breitbart, by Brandon Darby, October 30, 2016:

A record number of illegal aliens have crossed the U.S.- Mexico border and are in U.S. Border Patrol custody in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV), according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). Border Patrol Agent and NBPC President Brandon Judd spoke exclusively with Breitbart Texas and condemned the leadership of the Border Patrol’s parent agency, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), for allegedly “keeping this information secret” ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“We are at breaking point. We have the highest number of illegal aliens in custody in history in Border Patrol’s RGV Sector and this information has been kept from the American public,” said Agent Judd. “The talk of amnesty has once again created pull factors and encouraged people from all over the world to cross Mexico and then cross our porous southern border to illegally enter the U.S. We are simply overwhelmed.” (See CBP’s response below.)

Agent Judd told Breitbart Texas that Americans should vote their conscience, but they should do so with all of the information available. “This is an issue of the federal government restricting crucial information from the public ahead of a presidential election and it is unacceptable. Americans deserve to know the truth. Our Border Patrol agents deserve for Americans to know what they are really facing. Too many Border Patrol agents have given their lives and left loved ones to grieve for CBP leadership to play these types of political games ahead of such an impactful election.”

Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera spoke with Breitbart Texas in his capacity as vice president of the NBPC Local 3307, that represents the majority of Border Patrol agents in the RGV Sector. He said, “This isn’t surprising, considering the history of Border Patrol and CBP covering up facts and falsifying numbers.” He added, “In 2014, CBP didn’t publicize the crowded conditions in our facilities until Breitbart Texas published over forty photos depicting the reality. Only then did they properly address the crisis.”

Agent Cabrera said CBP were in fact concealing the gravity of the current border crisis. “One side in this coming election is downplaying illegal immigration and concealing this information only serves to help that agenda,” said Agent Cabrera.

Breitbart Texas reached out to the RGV Sector PIO for the Border Patrol and did not receive a response, though not much time was given to the agency. (See update below. A strong denial of the agents’ claims was issued by CBP to Breitbart Texas after publication.)

Historically, CBP, Border Patrol’s parent agency, has had to correct false assertions and denials. Perhaps the most glaring example occurred in June 2014 when an official CBP Twitter account directly accused this reporter of publishing a false report, only to later admit the report was accurate and true.

CBP has released numbers indicating near-record apprehensions; however, the assertions from the agents in the NBPC pertain to people who illegally entered the U.S. and are currently in custody in Border Patrol facilities. Agent Judd stated, “There is a significant difference between apprehension numbers and numbers in custody in our facilities. These record numbers in custody indicate that these are people who are not voluntarily returning. This indicates that these people will, under current policy, be released into our communities and given amnesty. This record number of people currently in detention is significant because the RGV Sector is dealing with the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels. This means our agents are busy babysitting record numbers in facilities instead of patrolling the border and stopping these murderers, kidnappers, and drug smugglers.”

UPDATE: Breitbart Texas received this response from CBP:

First, the number in custody in RGV is less than half what is was in June 2014.

Also, I would refer you to Secretary Johnson’s statement about southwest border security issued October 17. In it, the Secretary addresses the specific issue of unaccompanied children and family units. The statement includes statistics for the full year of fiscal year 2016.

You can find it on DHS.gov in the press release section of the website.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

DISCLOSURE: Breitbart News sponsors the National Border Patrol Council’s radio program, The Green Line. The author of this article received an award from the Laredo chapter of the National Border Patrol Council for his “being a voice and staunch advocate for Border patrol agents.” Breitbart News previously covered the costs of a slain Border Patrol agent’s funeral. The National Border Patrol Council endorsed Donald Trump for President after the candidate vowed to give veteran Border Patrol agents a voice in what is needed to properly secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

FBI: 7,700 Terrorist Encounters in USA Last Year

us-mexico-border

The jihad is crossing the southern border: a majority of encounters in Arizona were with Islamist groups.

CounterJihad, Sept. 26, 2016:

Breitbart news has received a collection of leaked documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that show a massive number of terrorist encounters, especially in border states.  The documents are not classified, though they are marked sensitive.  7,712 terrorist encounters occurred from July 20, 2015 and the same date a year later — last year, in short.

Some of the documents pertain to the entire U.S., while others focus specifically on the state of Arizona.  The states with the highest encounters are all border states. Texas, California, and Arizona–all states with a shared border with Mexico–rank high in encounters…. Most significantly, the map shows that many of the encounters occurred near the border outside of ports-of-entry, indicating that persons were attempting to sneak into the U.S.

Page Six shows a pie chart indicating that the majority of encounters in Arizona were with Islamic known or suspected terrorists, both Sunni and Shi’a.

That last is surprising, as one would expect drug cartels to make up the majority of such encounters.  The leak comes at a time when the FBI’s crime reporting shows an increase in violent crime across the country.

The Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah has developed connections with the Latin American drug cartels because of its prominent role in heroin.  Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) controls the opium trade from the poppy fields in Afghanistan to the Levant, and they provide a great deal of opium to Hezbollah.  Hezbollah has a refining capacity in Lebanon that allows them to provide a substantial part of the world’s heroin.  They trade heroin to the Latin American drug cartels for other illegal money-making opportunities, forged documents, and access to the Americas.  Hezbollah’s operations produce between ten and twenty million dollars in revenue for its American operations, which are based out of a large Lebanese immigrant community in what is called the “Tri-border region,” an area between Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina.

In addition to its money-making ventures, Hezbollah provides the cartels with military training.  As one of the world’s foremost guerrilla organizations, Hezbollah finds that its military trainers are sought after commodities.  They are able to parley those connections in order to perform operations in Mexico.  Their ability to infiltrate the United States, in order to conduct terrorist violence in service to Iran, is highlighted by these leaked FBI documents.

The role of Sunni groups is less fully understood, but it was a concern for the intelligence section of the United States military’s Southern Command according to another set of leaks earlier this year.

Sunni extremists are infiltrating the United States with the help of alien smugglers in South America and are crossing U.S. borders with ease, according to a U.S. South Command intelligence report.  The Command’s J-2 intelligence directorate reported recently in internal channels that “special interest aliens” are working with a known alien smuggling network in Latin America to reach the United States….  Army Col. Lisa A. Garcia, a Southcom spokeswoman, did not address the intelligence report directly but said Sunni terrorist infiltration is a security concern.

“Networks that specialize in smuggling individuals from regions of terrorist concern, mainly from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, the Middle East, and East Africa, are indeed a concern for Southcom and other interagency security partners who support our country’s national security,” Garcia told theWashington Free Beacon….  “In 2015, we saw a total of 331,000 migrants enter the southwestern border between the U.S. and Mexico, of that we estimate more than 30,000 of those were from countries of terrorist concern,” she said….

[T]he Southcom intelligence report revealed that the threat of Islamist terror infiltration is no longer theoretical. “This makes the case for Trump’s wall,” said one American security official of the Southcom report. “These guys are doing whatever they want to get in the country.”

Here at CounterJihad, we reported on Southern Command’s commander, Admiral Kurt Tidd, and his testimony before Congress on the threat.  Tidd reported that a number of terrorists were transiting the region who had gone to Syria and fought for the Islamic State (ISIS) and other radical groups.  Their ability to return to Latin America was smooth, given that they actually had legal travel documents.

Whether they can then pass into the United States is an open question.  The leaked FBI documents only talk about actual law enforcement encounters with people on terrorist lists.  How many are infiltrating without encountering law enforcement?

Also see:

Securing that problematic border must be a component of a larger strategy that addresses many other failures and vulnerabilities of the immigration system.

If the U.S./Mexican border had been protected by the mythical “deflector shield” from the Starship Enterprise, the terror attacks of 9/11, the attack of the Boston Marathon by the Tsarnaev brothers, the terror attack at San Bernardino, and all of the other terror attacks America has suffered would not have been prevented.

Soros instigating pre-election ‘surge’ at border

The surge in family apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2016 is driven by migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, who together make up 90 percent of these apprehensions so far this fiscal year. The number of family apprehensions from these Central American countries more than doubled in the first six months of fiscal 2016 over the same time period in 2015 and spiked further in August.

The surge in family apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2016 is driven by migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, who together make up 90 percent of these apprehensions so far this fiscal year. The number of family apprehensions from these Central American countries more than doubled in the first six months of fiscal 2016 over the same time period in 2015 and spiked further in August.

WND, by Leo Hohmann, Sept. 15, 2016:

Illegal border crossings by Central American children and families are surging again, approaching the record levels set in the summer of 2014, according to the latest data released for August. And border watchdogs say it’s all about Donald Trump and the upcoming election.

If the surge continues into September, fiscal 2016 will end on par with 2014, when President Obama was forced to address what was widely referred to as a “humanitarian crisis.”

August figures released this week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that more than 37,000 people were apprehended trying to illegally cross the southern border.

That’s nearly 6,000 more than in August 2014 and brings the total to 369,411 with one month still to go in the current fiscal year.

Customs and Border Patrol processed a record 479,000 illegal crossers in 2014, but 2015 saw the number drop to 331,000 as Obama’s DHS claimed it had implemented some upgraded enforcement measures having to do with “priorities.”

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

“These priorities more sharply focus our limited enforcement resources on public safety and border security,” the DHS claims in a statement on its website.

Now with the huge spike in illegal crossings this summer, the final tally for fiscal 2016 is expected to reach 400,000, exposing Obama’s upgraded measures as a fraud, according to border hawks.

A border patrol agent from the El Centro sector in California who asked not to be identified told WND he believes the numbers are up because of the pending presidential election. The fact that Republican Donald Trump continues to close the gap with Democrat Hillary Clinton, actually pulling ahead of her in some polls, is a huge factor driving the surge, he said.

“This is just speculation on my part, but I’m sure we’re getting a rush before the election, because if Trump wins they’re going to put an end to this [catch-and-release] policy,” the agent told WND.

He said the majority of border agents are hoping for a Trump win. Their union, the National Border Patrol Council, has endorsed Trump.

“I’m not saying he’s going to stick exactly to his positions because I don’t believe that for any politician. But I do feel he’ll make a change for the better,” the agent said.

George Soros’ involvement in historic migrations

William Gheen, president and founder of Americans for Legal Immigration, or ALIPAC, agrees with the agent’s assessment on the main reason for the surge. He says there are “big money interests” fueling the surge, with the likes of billionaire George Soros greasing the skids.

“The greatest wave of illegal immigration in America’s history is now inbound. We’ve been warning our supporters about this since January because Obama has sent the green light around the world that America’s border defenses have been compromised by his office,” Gheen said. “And word of that has reached every corner of the earth, where it is estimated some 1 billion people could come to the U.S. if we continue to allow them to do so.”

Gheen said the illegals are “being told to come” by a network of pro-immigrant advocacy groups funded by Soros and other wealthy progressives.

“They’re being told to come by Soros-backed groups and politicians,” he said.

And he’s not alone in that belief.

Read more

Also see:

SOUTHCOM Raises Alarms on Sunni Extremists Infiltrating U.S. Southern Border

3688885704Center for Security Policy, by Dr. Luis Fleischman, Sept. 6, 2016:

On August 21st the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) confirmed what the Menges Hemispheric Security Project has been warning about for a long time: the susceptibility of our Southern border to the infiltration of Middle East Terrorism. Most recently we warned that ISIS has the potential to operate in Latin America.

Reporting on cooperation between Iran or Iran’s proxy groups like Hezbollah and countries in Latin America such as Venezuela as well as drug cartels has been extensive. However, this time SOUTHCOM (which is responsible for all military activities in South and Central America) has explicitly talked about the infiltration of Sunni extremists from the Middle East, from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and from East Africa broaching our southern border.

These infiltrations, which are carried out with the help of professional smugglers trained in smuggling illegal immigrants from Latin America, represent a major problem given the threat of the Islamic State. What is more interesting is that neither the media nor even the Donald Trump campaign raised public concern over this report. It is particularly worrisome given the fact that Southern Command reported the infiltration of 30,000 individuals from the Middle East, which is the equivalent of 10% of the total illegal smuggling coming from the southern border.

It is obvious that the problem of our southern border remains a very serious issue that requires a solution as soon as possible. The security of our borders should be resolved before any other issue is resolved, whether the next president is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

But for this to happen it is also imperative to look at the Western Hemisphere and Latin America not only in economic terms but also as a region that poses serious security challenges.

We have extensively covered all these challenges but with the rise of ISIS it is important to look into why the region is a fertile area for ISIS. First, the proximity of Latin America to the United States makes us vulnerable and provides easy access to those wishing to cross over our rather porous southern border.

Secondly, the northern states of Mexico as well as Central America constitute anarchical areas, territories without effective government. Ungoverned territories are fertile ground for terrorist activities. Third, corruption prevails. It is extremely easy to bribe judges, police, governors, and public officials as drug cartels have widely proved. By the same token, cooperation between ISIS and drug cartels should not be ruled out. After all, such cooperation has taken place between cartels and the Shiite Hezbollah. Drug cartels provide logistics and know the territory extremely well.

By the same token, there have been countries in the region that sold passports in exchange for money like Venezuela, whose embassy in Baghdad sold passports to whomever paid for them. Given the intense activity of ISIS and Sunni extremists in Iraq, it should not be surprising that some of these passports were sold to ISIS members or individuals associated to ISIS. Likewise, small Caribbean countries associated directly or indirectly with Venezuela and the ALBA coalition have been involved in the selling of passports raising eyebrows about the possibility that ISIS may have been one of the beneficiaries of such transactions.

It is also worthwhile to point out that Tareq Al Assami, currently the governor of the Venezuelan state of Aragua and a former Minister of interior was in charge of providing visas and passports. He is known for his connections with Iran and Hezbollah and his father was a former Secretary of the Iraqi Baath party in Venezuela. Former members of Sadam Hussein’s Baath party now constitute an important presence in the ranks of ISIS.

By the same token it should not be ruled out that with the recent peace accord agreed upon by the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) there could be a number of guerillas that refuse to accept the binding power of the agreements. If those dissidents from the FARC join forces with ISIS as they have done in the past with Hezbollah, it could have disastrous consequences for the security of the region.

Finally, it is important to point out that Latin American countries are not paying due attention to terrorism and less to Islamic terrorism as we have already pointed out. For example, Brazil has denied that there is any terrorist activity in Brazil despite the fact that Hezbollah has major cells operating in the country and even some Al Qaeda operatives. They have been the least cooperative country in tracking activities in the tri-border area.  Brazil does not consider Hezbollah, Hamas, or even the familiar Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as terrorist entities. This hopefully will change with the new interim government in Brazil or if a new government is elected as a result of Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment.

Therefore, the next president of the United States will need to take this issue very seriously. Failing to do so could place American lives at risk.

Dr. Luis Fleischman is a Senior adviser to the Menges Hemispheric Security Project at the Center for Security Policy in Washington DC. He is also an adjunct professor of Political Science and Sociology at Wilkes Honor College at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of the upcoming book, “Latin America in the Post-Chavez Era: The Security Threat to the United States.”

Southern Command Warns Sunni Extremists Infiltrating From South

A Mexican soldier patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border wall on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico / AP

A Mexican soldier patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border wall on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Aug. 22, 2016:

Sunni extremists are infiltrating the United States with the help of alien smugglers in South America and are crossing U.S. borders with ease, according to a U.S. South Command intelligence report.

The Command’s J-2 intelligence directorate reported recently in internal channels that “special interest aliens” are working with a known alien smuggling network in Latin America to reach the United States. The smuggling network was not identified.

Army Col. Lisa A. Garcia, a Southcom spokeswoman, did not address the intelligence report directly but said Sunni terrorist infiltration is a security concern.

“Networks that specialize in smuggling individuals from regions of terrorist concern, mainly from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, the Middle East, and East Africa, are indeed a concern for Southcom and other interagency security partners who support our country’s national security,” Garcia told theWashington Free Beacon.

“There are major hubs that serve as entry points into the region for migrants from those areas of concern attempting to enter the U.S. along our border with Mexico,” she said.

The infiltrators from terrorist states and unstable regions exploit vulnerabilities in commercial transportation systems and immigration enforcement agencies in some of the countries used for transit, Garcia said.

“In 2015, we saw a total of 331,000 migrants enter the southwestern border between the U.S. and Mexico, of that we estimate more than 30,000 of those were from countries of terrorist concern,” she said. [emphasis added]

Another problem in dealing with migrants from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia is a lack of information among the governments of the countries used by potential terrorists for transit.

The exploitation of alien smuggling networks by terrorists until recently had been dismissed by both American security officials and private security experts as largely an urban myth.

However, the Southcom intelligence report revealed that the threat of Islamist terror infiltration is no longer theoretical. “This makes the case for Trump’s wall,” said one American security official of the Southcom report. “These guys are doing whatever they want to get in the country.”

Adm. Kurt Tidd, Southcom’s commander, said last week that the lack of information is hampering security efforts against alien smuggling.

“An element that has been long recognized is that our ability to track people moving through transportation systems is an area that we must continue to devote efforts on, and the ease with which human traffickers are able to use our transportation systems to move people through the networks relatively undetected should give us all concern,” Tidd said.

Special interest aliens are described by the U.S. government as aliens who pose a potential terrorism threat coming from 34 nations in the Middle East, Africa, Southwest Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The list of states of concern includes Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Eritrea, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump last week called for stepped up counterterrorism measures that he said would involve “extreme vetting” of immigrants in a bid to better screen out potential terrorists.

Trump also has made a campaign theme the construction of a wall across the United States’ southern border as part of efforts to better control the flood of illegal immigrants.

Joel Vargas, head of Contingent Security Services and a consultant to law enforcement agencies, said there is no evidence Sunni extremists are creating new relationships with alien smugglers. However, he said in an email that “existing smuggling networks from Central America are increasing their access.”

“We have intercepted immigrants coming from Asia but we have been unable to determine if they are extremists,” Vargas said. “Our Sunni illegal migration coming from [Latin America] is very small. On the other hand, they can use the networks set up by the Shia.”

A report produced by Vargas for the International Airport, Seaport and Transport Police states that the Iran-backed Shiite terror group Hezbollah mainly has ties to Latin American through overseas Lebanese expatriates.

Hezbollah recently increased support in transnational crime in the region by supply arms and training to various groups.

“Hezbollah’s current goals appear to be focused on accruing resources rather than conducting offensive operations, however the group’s growing capabilities are still a clear threat to regional U.S. interests,” the report said. “Iran’s involvement in Latin America is also increasing, and Hezbollah will likely be able to use these budding political and economic ties as cover for its operations.”

Vargas said Hezbollah’s networks in Latin America could be used by Sunni extremists to get to the United States. “That is a workable situation,” he said. “If they disclose they are ISIL or any other group, I doubt that even the Shias will help out. Even [drug] cartels are killing anyone who appears extremist. It is bad for their business.”

According to Vargas, Guatemala remains a weak link for regional security services. A sophisticated alien smuggling operation that is capable of moving foreign nationals into the United States from Africa and other states has been centered in that Central American state for at least the past six years.

The Washington Times reported in June that an international alien smuggling network centered in Brazil helped sneak illegal immigrants from Middle Eastern states to the United States, including an Afghan linked to a terror plot in North America.

At least a dozen Middle Easterners reached the Western Hemisphere through this alien smuggling ring that facilitated travel to Mexico, the Times reported, quoting internal government documents.

The aliens involved Palestinians, Pakistanis, and the Afghan man with ties to the Taliban.

Some of the aliens were stopped before entering the United States but others succeeded in crossing the U.S. border.

One transit route used in the past by alien smugglers was identified in a recent Justice Department alien smuggling case that traced illegal immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to Honduras, then to Guatemala and finally to Mexico and into the United States.

The cost of getting into the United States can reach $400 or more per person, and the illegal immigrants are provided with transportation, covert smuggling contacts along routes into the country, as well as instructions on how to illegally cross the U.S. border. The instructions in the past have included armed guides who ferry illegal aliens across U.S.-Mexico border rivers on inner tubes.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified during a Senate hearing in February that Islamic State terrorists would try to infiltrate the United State posing as immigrants.

“That’s one technique they’ve used is taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow,” Clapper said. “As well, they also have available to them—and are pretty skilled at phony passports so they can travel ostensibly as legitimate travelers as well.”

Released Gitmo Detainee Goes Missing in Latin America

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Front Page Magazine, by Michael Cutler, July 7, 2016:

The Obama administration has played politics with virtually every issue, including issues that endanger national security and the safety and well-being of Americans.

Through the issuance of executive orders on immigration that make a mockery of our nation’s borders and immigration laws and that contradict commonsense and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission millions of illegal aliens whose true identities cannot be determined now live in towns and cities across the United States.

Nearly every terror attack carried out in the United States has a connection to a failure of the immigration system.  Most of the terrorists who have been identified were admitted into the United States, proving that our immigration system lacks integrity.  But failures of the immigration system also include failures to physically secure our nation’s northern and southern borders.

Our borders have become little more than “speed bumps” to smugglers with record quantities of narcotics, including heroin, flowing freely into the United States, along with transnational criminals and gang members.

The immigration policy of “Catch and Release” that has turned hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who have been convicted of committing serious crimes loose on towns and cities across the United States has been the focus of a series of Congressional hearings, yet nothing has convinced the administration to stop this lunacy.

Catch and Release is not, however, limited to the way that illegal aliens are apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents are released, with the vast majority failing to appear for immigration hearings.  In order to keep his promise to close the U.S. facility at Guantanamo, Mr. Obama has ordered ordered terror suspects to be released from custody at Guantanamo.  Some have returned to the battlefield where they threaten innocent civilians as well as members of the armed forces of a number of nations including the United States.

It has been reported that 80 radical Islamist terrorists remain in custody in Guantanamo.  They must not be released from that important U.S. facility.

Undoubtedly many of these former detainees would love nothing better than make their way to the United States to launch deadly terror attacks inside our borders.  ISIS has made it clear that the United States is their prime target.

On July 5, 2016, Fox News reported, “Mystery surrounds whereabouts of former Gitmo detainee in South America.”

The detainee that the report refers to is Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Syrian native.  In 2014 he was freed from custody and sent to Uruguay, a destination country for five other released detainees.  Now it has been disclosed that he has gone missing.  There are contradictory reports as to whether or not he may have entered Brazil legally, or illegally.

The latest reports indicate that he may have used a false passport — a threat noted by the 9/11 Commission that stated that in the hands of a terrorist a passport is a weapon.

What the news reports failed to discuss is the fact that the Tri-Border Region of Brazil, where Brazil borders on Argentina and Paraguay, is a hot-bed for radical Islamist terror groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and likely for al-Qaeda and ISIS.

This is not a new development.  The Federal Research Division of the United States Library of Congress prepared a report in July 2003 about this deadly part of the world that was updated in December 2010.  The title of that report is, “Terrorist And Organized Crime Groups In The Tri-Border Area (TBA) Of Sourh America.”

The report was critical about corruption of the government of Brazil and noted that transnational criminal organizations from across the world have set up shop in that section of Brazil.

Read more

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“Islamic Refugee” With Gas Pipeline Plans Arrested in New Mexico Border County

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Judicial Watch, June 15, 2016:

Police in a U.S. town bordering Mexico have apprehended an undocumented, Middle Eastern woman in possession of the region’s gas pipeline plans, law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch. Authorities describe the woman as an “Islamic refugee” pulled over during a traffic stop by a deputy sheriff in Luna County, New Mexico which shares a 54-mile border with Mexico. County authorities alerted the U.S. Border Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) has been deployed to the area to investigate, sources with firsthand knowledge of the probe confirm.

The gas pipeline plans in the woman’s possession include the Deming region, law enforcement sources say. Deming is a Luna County city situated about 35 miles north of the Mexican border and 60 miles west of Las Cruces. It has a population of about 15,000. Last year one local publication listed Deming No. 1 on a list of the “ten worst places” to live in New Mexico due to high unemployment, poverty, crime and a horrible public education system. The entire region is a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), according to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center due to the large amounts of methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and marijuana smuggled through the state by Mexican traffickers. Specifically, the renowned Juárez and Sinaloa cartels operate in the area, the feds affirm in a report.

Judicial Watch has broken a number of stories in the last few years about Mexican drug traffickers smuggling Islamic terrorists into the United States through the porous southern border. Last summer high-level sources on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border offered alarming details about an operation in which cartels smuggle foreigners from countries with terrorist links into a small Texas rural town near El Paso. Classified as Special Interest Aliens (SIA) by the U.S. government, the foreigners get transported to stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso on a state road – Highway 20. Once in the U.S., the SIAs wait for pick-up in the area’s sand hills just across Highway 20.

A few months ago Judicial Watch reported that members of a cell of Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the U.S. to explore targets for future attacks with the help of Mexican drug traffickers. Among the jihadists that travel back and forth through the porous southern border is a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso, Texas. Khabir trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen and has lived in Mexico for more than a year, according to Judicial Watch’s high-level Homeland Security sources. Now Khabir trains thousands of men—mostly Syrians and Yemenis—to fight in an ISIS base situated in the Mexico-U.S. border region near Ciudad Juárez. Khabir actually brags in a European newspaper article about how easy it is to stake out American targets because the border region is wide open. In the same story Foreign Affairs Secretary Claudia Ruiz, Mexico’s top diplomat, says she doesn’t understand why the Obama administration and the U.S. media are “culpably neglecting this phenomenon,” adding that “this new wave of fundamentalism could have nasty surprises in store for the United States.”

This recent New Mexico incident brings to mind a story Judicial Watch broke less than a year ago involving five young Middle Eastern men apprehended by Border Patrol in an Arizona town (Amado) situated about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Two of the Middle Eastern men were carrying stainless steel cylinders in backpacks, alarming Border Patrol officials enough to call the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for backup. A multitude of federal agents descended on the property and the two men carrying the cylinders were believed to be taken into custody by the FBI. Only three of the men’s names were entered in the Border Patrol’s E3 reporting system, which is used by the agency to track apprehensions, detention hearings and removals of illegal immigrants. E3 also collects and transmits biographic and biometric data including fingerprints for identification and verification of individuals encountered at the border. The other two men were listed as “unknown subjects,” which is unheard of. “In all my years I’ve never seen that before,” a veteran federal law enforcement agent told Judicial Watch.

Terror Threat Crosses Southern Border

Moslems-On-Mexican-Border

By CounterJihad, June 3, 2016:

“Radicalization is occurring,” said Admiral Kurt Tidd, addressing the question of whether Islamic infiltration along the southern border is a threat.  “We just have to recognize that this theater is a very attractive target and is an attractive pathway that we have to pay attention to.”

Tidd, who took over US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) at the beginning of the year, said the Islamic State (ISIS) has between 100 and 150 recruits originally from Latin America.  A “number” have attempted to return to the region, which should be relatively easy given their access to proper passports and their native capability with the language and culture.

“It’s the extremist Islamist movement, and that very corrosive engagement that you’re seeing on the internet that they’ve demonstrated an effectiveness in,” ADM Tidd explained of the perhaps surprising recruitment success by ISIS in a majority-Catholic region.  Here at CounterJihad we have reported on a similar success by ISIS in recruiting from Catholic-majority Ireland.  However surprising, it is the case that Ireland has supplied more fighters to ISIS than the whole of India in spite of its vastly larger Muslim population.

ADM Tidd’s assessment comes as Congress has been informed of a successful infiltration by a Taliban agent along the Mexican border.  The Afghan national was in US databases as having terror ties, but somehow was not flagged by American immigration police.  Instead, his ‘expedited removal’ notice was overturned and he was allowed to apply for asylum and welfare benefits.  Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., revealed the matter to Congress based on Homeland Security documents he obtained through proper channels.  Hunter told Fox News on Friday that the database disconnect represents a “monumental failure,” and that others will have gotten through if this one did.

In addition to Sunni jihadists, ties between Hezbollah and the region’s drug cartels are an ongoing concern.  Iran’s control of the opium trade from Afghanistan allows the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps to provide Hezbollah with opium as part of its fundraising operations.  Hezbollah converts the opium into heroin in its bases throughout the Levant.  Being a major supplier of the world’s heroin has allowed the terrorist group the leverage to establish good relations with Latin American cartels.  As a consequence, smuggling lines for bringing drugs into the Americas are open to Hezbollah.  Bringing terrorists through those same pipelines is not a big stretch.

ISIS, which also has a sizable heroin operation, could follow a similar path.  That would only deepen ADM Tidd’s troubles.

***

Tunnel Warfare

Published on Jun 1, 2016 by theunitedwest

SHOCKING REPORT BY CAPT. DAN GORDON
Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified on Capitol Hill in May of 2016 ISIS, “will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016.” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated, “ISIS leaders are determined to strike the homeland.” In a shocking new book by Dan Gordon, a Major Hollywood Award winning playwright and veteran of several military encounters with terrorists, he details how such an attack will occur. “They will use Mexican Drugs tunnels from Tijuana and the attack will most likely occur in San Diego, Ca.,” Gordon recently told Tom Trento Director of TheUnitedWest.org a counter-intelligence expert based in Florida. “San Diego is a target rich environment and federal authorities, local law enforcement and the military will be unable and ill-equipped to respond in the timely fashion to prevent a mass casualty attack from ISIS,” Gordon stated. GET THIS BOOK NOW!! https://www.amazon.com/Day-Dead-Book-…

***

Published on Jun 3, 2016 by Stefan Molyneux

Download the Pamphlet: http://www.fdrurl.com/MexicoPamphlet
An incredibly shocking glimpse at information provided by the Secretary of Foreign Relations in Mexico. Once again, Donald Trump was right – Mexico is sending people to the United States illegally and providing it’s citizens “how to” pamphlets to aid them in the task.

Also see:

Cartels Help Terrorists in Mexico Get to U.S. to Explore Targets; ISIS Militant Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir Among Them

mexico_isisJudicial Watch, April 26, 2016:

Mexican drug traffickers help Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the United States to explore targets for future attacks, according to information forwarded to Judicial Watch by a high-ranking Homeland Security official in a border state. Among the jihadists that travel back and forth through the porous southern border is a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso, Texas. Khabir trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen and has lived in Mexico for more than a year, according to information provided by JW’s government source.

Now Khabir trains thousands of men—mostly Syrians and Yemenis—to fight in an ISIS base situated in the Mexico-U.S. border region near Ciudad Juárez, the intelligence gathered by JW’s source reveals. Staking out U.S. targets is not difficult and Khabir actually brags in an Italian newspaper article published last week that the border region is so open that he “could get in with a handful of men, and kill thousands of people in Texas or in Arizona in the space of a few hours.” Foreign Affairs Secretary Claudia Ruiz, Mexico’s top diplomat, says in the article that she doesn’t understand why the Obama administration and the U.S. media are “culpably neglecting this phenomenon,” adding that “this new wave of fundamentalism could have nasty surprises in store for the United States.”

This disturbing development appears on the Open Source Enterprise, the government database that collects and analyzes valuable material from worldwide print, broadcast and online media sources for the U.S. intelligence community. Only registered federal, state and local government employees can view information and analysis in the vast database and unauthorized access can lead to criminal charges. Updated data gathered on Khabir reveals he’s 52 years old and was ordered to leave Kuwait about a decade ago over his extremist positions. Khabir is currently on ISIS’s (also known as ISIL) payroll and operates a cell in an area of Mexico known as Anapra, according to the recently obtained information.

A year ago Judicial Watch reported on an ISIS camp in this exact area, just a few miles from El Paso. JW’s April 14, 2015 report identified Anapra as the location of the ISIS base, details that were provided to JW by sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector. Anapra is situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. At the time JW reported that another ISIS cell was established to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas to target the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming. Sources told JW that, during the course of a joint operation, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

A few months later JW reported that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling Middle Eastern terrorists into a small Texas rural town near El Paso and that they’re using remote farm roads—rather than interstates—to elude the Border Patrol and other law enforcement barriers. The foreigners are classified by the U.S. government as Special Interest Aliens (SIA) and they are transported to stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso on a state road – Highway 20. Once in the U.S., the SIAs wait for pick-up in the area’s sand hills just across Highway 20. At the time JW’s government sources revealed that terrorists have long entered the U.S. through Mexico and in fact, an internal Texas Department of Public Safety report leaked by the media documents that several members of known Islamist terrorist organizations have been apprehended crossing the southern border in recent years.

Earlier this year, as part of an ongoing investigation into national security risks in the porous southern border, JW obtained evidence that proves the U.S. government has known for more than a decade about the partnership between terrorists and Mexican drug cartels. State Department documents made public by JW in January say that for at least ten years “Arab extremists” have entered the country through Mexico with the assistance of smuggling network “cells.” Among them was a top Al Qaeda operative wanted by the FBI. Some Mexican smuggling networks actually specialize in providing logistical support for Arab individuals attempting to enter the United States, the government documents say. The top Al Qaeda leader in Mexico was identified in the September 2004 cable from the American consulate in Ciudad Juárez as Adnan G. El Shurkrjumah. The cable was released to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

***

Also see:

  • More Reports Confirm that ISIS Is In Texas [VIDEO] – “We have arrested over 80 ISIS followers in the United States. We’ve found 75 plots against the West, many of which we have stopped,” he said.

    McCaul told Dallas reporters that “American dams are definitely a target,” possibly by electronic means to create an uncontrolled release or by using a bomb. He mentions his concerns, and offers possible solutions, in his new book, “Failures of Imagination.” He said, “The reason I wrote the book is to tell the American people the truth about the threats we face as a nation and what we need to do to stop it.”

Isis recruiters planned on open jihadi smuggling route from Syria through Mexico into US

Guled Ali Omar, from Minneapolis, is accused of terrorism charges including trying to join IsisUS Police handout

Guled Ali Omar, from Minneapolis, is accused of terrorism charges including trying to join IsisUS Police handout

IB Times, by William Watkinson, April 22, 2016:

A Minnesota man, accused of being a recruiter for the Islamic State (Isis), wanted to open up a jihadi people-smuggling route from Syria, through Mexico and into the US, to conduct attacks, court documents claim. Guled Ali Omar from Minneapolis has been accused by prosecutors of conspiring with a group of men to join the fight with Daesh (Isis) to carry out attacks on US soil.

The suspected jihadist is standing trial with three other men. According to court documents he told one of the defendants he had “found a means of reaching Syria by going through Mexico”. He allegedly went on to explain that “defendants will be able to tell ISIL (an alternative name for Islamic State) of the route so that ISIL can send fighters into the United States via that route to mount attacks.”

The 21-year-old has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit murder outside the US. Standing trial with Omar is Hamza Naj Ahmed, 21, Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 22, and Abdirahman Yasin Daud, 22, who have also pleaded not guilty.

The men are all from Minnesota’s Somali community and are believed to have held secret meetings planning to join up with IS in their self-declared caliphate that bridges Syria and Iraq. In a linked case another five men have pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to support a foreign terrorist organisation, whilst a tenth suspect is at large, believed to be fighting with IS.

The FBI claim that up to a dozen Minnesota citizens have headed to fight with militant groups in Syria in recent years. They also believe that 22 men have joined islamist terrorists al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Ahead of the trial of the four terror suspects, set for May, prosecutors say they have audio recordings where the defendants discuss attacking the US and American citizens – including the murder of an FBI agent. The man who pleaded guilty, planned to fire a homemade rocket at an airplane.

Prosecutors also allege that all of the defendants watched sick IS propaganda videos whilst looking at gruesome images. Omar was said to have pictures of the burning World Trade Centre towers and former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on his mobile phone.

Arizona Atty. Gen. Finds Money Trail Between Middle East, Mexican Smugglers

20140407_usborderagents_mexicoborderLFamily Security Matters, by JUDICIAL WATCH, March 6, 2016:

Months after six Middle Eastern men who entered the U.S. illegally through Mexico were arrested in Arizona state authorities have uncovered an extensive money trail between the Middle East and Mexico. This includes more than a dozen wire transfers sent from the Middle East to known Mexican smugglers in at least two different regions of the Latin American nation, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

report issued by the AG exposes the disturbing money trail between Mexico and terrorist nations in the Middle East as well as evidence of smuggling routes tying the region to America’s southern border. An excerpt of the AG’s findings was obtained by a local media outlet that published it this week. It states that the Mexican city of Tapachula, a known human smuggling hub located near the Guatemalan border in the state of Chiapas, was the top destination of Middle Eastern money transfers. Nogales, which is situated adjacent to the Arizona border, is the second destination, the investigation found. “Agents conducted a comprehensive geographic analysis of possible terrorist related transactions and/or money transfers involving human smuggling networks,” the state report says.

Officials launched the probe shortly after six men-one from Afghanistan, five from Pakistan-were arrested in Patagonia, a quaint ranch town that sits 20 miles north of Nogales, on November 17. Judicial Watch investigated the matter as part of an ongoing probe on the dire national security issues created by the famously porous southern border. Special Agent Kurt Remus in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Phoenix headquarters told JW that the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces vetted and interviewed the six men and determined that there were “no obvious signs of terrorism” so they were returned to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.

But a few days later, in a story reported exclusively by JW, five young Middle Eastern men were apprehended in the nearby Arizona town of Amado, which is located about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Two of the Middle Eastern men were carrying stainless steel cylinders in backpacks, law enforcement and other sources told JW, alarming Border Patrol officials enough to call the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for backup. Only three of the men’s names were entered in the Border Patrol’s E3 reporting system, which is used by the agency to track apprehensions, detention hearings and removals of illegal immigrants. E3 also collects and transmits biographic and biometric data including fingerprints for identification and verification of individuals encountered at the border. The other two men were listed as “unknown subjects,” which is unheard of, according to a JW federal law enforcement source. “In all my years I’ve never seen that before,” a veteran federal law enforcement agent told JW.

The money trail exposed by Arizona officials in the aftermath of these two major incidents is extremely troublesome. The AG’s Financial Crimes Task Force quickly identified suspicious wire transfers sent from Middle Eastern and African nations by people with Middle Eastern names to Mexico. In 2015, one human smuggler in Mexico received 70 money transfers from 69 senders, the task force found. “All of the 69 sender names appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin,” the AG writes in its report. This seems to confirm JW’s reporting in the last few years on the dangerous alliance between Mexican smugglers and Middle Eastern extremists who want to attack the U.S.

Last summer JW broke a story about a Mexican drug cartel operation that smuggles foreigners from countries with terrorist links into a small Texas rural town near El Paso. They use remote farm roads-rather than interstates-to elude the Border Patrol and other law enforcement barriers, according to sources on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border. The foreigners are then transported to stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso on a state road – Highway 20. In 2015 JW also reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is operating camps near the U.S. border in areas known as Anapra and Puerto Palomas west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. That information came from high-level sources just months after JW exposed an ISIS plot orchestrated from Ciudad Juárez to attack the U.S. with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). As a result of JW’s reporting Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army base in El Paso, increased security. The threat was imminent enough to place agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies on alert. As far back as 2014 JW reported that four ISIS terrorists were arrested by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.

Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.

Frank Gaffney Warns: Southern Border Now a ‘Fertile Environment For Jihadis’

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Feb. 17, 2016:

Gaffney used the Zika virus as a metaphor for how mass migration brings security pathologies from regions with serious security issues into the United States, much as Zika has flourished in countries with less stringent disease and mosquito control protocols.

“We’ve now got these cartels operating with gangs all over the United States,” said Gaffney, referring to South American drug cartels. “Literally, every state in the Union is now a border state.”

“That’s partly because we have been neglecting the border,” he continued, “and not preventing people who have been operating on one side of it from operating on both.”

Gaffney warned that the drug cartels are not alone in establishing operations on both sides of the porous border.

“They are being now, increasingly, accompanied by – and collaborating with – jihadists that the Pope is ignoring in Europe, where he’s residing at the moment, and a lot of other places besides, of course,” he said.

Noting that the big cartels have been compared to the Islamic State in their organizational methods and violence, Gaffney said, “You also have the Islamic State in Latin America. You also have Hamas. You also have Hezbollah. You also have the Iranians… and, by the way, the Chinese and others. That side of the border is now a fertile environment for jihadists to operate from, with impunity – and to bring their violence, and other kinds of predations, here as well.”

The U.S. Has a Massive Asylum Fraud Problem No One Talks About

migrant-attacks-asylum-fraud.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY TODD BENSMAN, JANUARY 13, 2016:

Until her 2013 arrest in Texas, the Mexico City-based Nepalese smuggler Rakhi Gauchan was one of the most prolific kingpin smugglers of Islamic world migrants that federal agents had seen in years.

During her long career, Gauchan delivered scores of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Indians to the Texas and Arizona borders. Ten or more every month, according to court filings from her case. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “special interest alien” (SIA) hunters were glad to finally remove her from the borderlands, because Gauchan confided to an undercover government agent that she believed a Pakistani client she had smuggled into Arizona was a bonafide terrorist. ICE agents rushed to track down the Pakistani, learning he was quite real and living in America,having gained political asylum.

They learned he had come from the embattled Kashmir region of India and Pakistan, a notorious magnet for the global Islamic jihadists. Court records conspicuously omit reference to whether the agents confirmed Gauchan’s hunch. However, they did disclose that Gauchan had regularly helped clients like the suspected Pakistani terrorist obtain the most cherished of illegal immigration door prizes: U.S. political asylum enabling permanent residency and American citizenship.

The Gauchan case, and other SIA smuggling prosecution cases I examined as part of my Naval Postgraduate School thesis research on illegal immigration from Muslim nations, demonstrate that these smugglers literally count on the ease of defrauding the U.S. asylum system to buoy illicit businesses that make terrorist border infiltration possible.

Improving America’s ability to detect and prosecute asylum fraud would help devastate SIA smuggling, and would reduce the chance that any terrorist border infiltrator can stay and plot with legal top cover.

America’s ineffectiveness at detecting asylum fraud is embroidered into long-haul SIA migrant smuggling to the U.S.-Mexico border from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Illegal immigration by air, land, and sea to the U.S.-Mexico border bears an uncanny similarity to how up to six of the November 13 Paris terrorists reached, and then breached, the common external European border. They claimed asylum under false identities to mount their attacks.

For these reasons, asylum fraud is a fourth key attackable fail point of the SIA smuggling networks. (Click these for the three fail points previously covered here at PJ Media: the catch, rest and release policies of Mexico and Panama; Latin America’s foreign diplomatic stations in Islamic terrorism-spawning countries; and the kingpin smugglers.) I offer this research for the day American homeland security authorities decide they want to reduce the chance of a Paris-like border infiltration attack here.

The Gauchan case is one of many that show how SIA smugglers rely on asylum fraud. But it is instructive to first know a little about the asylum system:

When an immigrant reaches the U.S. border, they can go to any official and verbally request asylum. That alone triggers the system. A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer will conduct a 45-minute interview (usually by telephone) to determine whether the migrant’s story on just its face merits a positive “credible fear” determination that they may suffer discrimination or political persecution if returned to their home countries.Almost everyone gets the “credible fear” thumbs-up.

This then triggers a legal asylum process that typically stretches over months and often years. With their hearing dates in hand, some portion of credible-fear SIAs may or may not undergo FBI security interrogations.

All but a very few hard cases then get released on bond with permission to work until the hearing months and years down the road.

So an asylum claim at the southwestern border often provides the only chance for SIAs to gain legal status and in-country time for … whatever. Most importantly, the asylum process’s warm embrace ensures that SIAs avoid the devastating loss of smuggling investment fortunes a deportation portends.

For those reasons, SIA smugglers like Gauchan are compelled to incorporate the promise of asylum into the services they sell on the front end, and to become arm-chair experts in how to game the system. Working the asylum process helps not only to ensure future client recruitment (when the folks back home learn their predecessors gained asylum) but also basic business continuity.

This helps explain why Gauchan, and many other SIA smugglers, routinely instructed clients to claim asylum as soon as they could find a U.S. border official.

Familiar with what the credible fear interviewers needed to hear, she provided clients with the stories of woe and persecution most likely to play well. She undoubtedly gave a good whopper to the Pakistani she thought was a terrorist.

But Gauchan also knew when the system would exclude one of her clients. For instance, Italy had already rejected one Pakistani client, an automatic disqualifier. But knowing this, and also that American and Italian intelligence share information, Gauchan advised her client not to tell about the Italian denial, and to change the story he had used in Italy.

We have known for a long time how easy it is to get away with asylum fraud, and yet nothing has been done to improve detection or the prosecution numbers. A 2008 GAO survey of asylum officers showed that 75 percent believed “they needed additional training to help them detect fraud, conduct security checks and assess the credibility of asylum seekers.” In 2014, four Republican congressmen asked the GAO to investigate the asylum process after a leaked DHS report showed that up to 70 percent of cases contained proven or possible fraud.

It would take no professional acting experience for an ISIS terrorist from war-torn Syria and Iraq to game the system with a story of woe. Other Islamic terrorists already have shown how easy it is. I have many examples, but I’ll leave you with the one involving the Texas-prosecuted Somali smuggler Ahmad Muhammad Dhakane, who until 2008 ran a smuggling network from Brazil to Texas.

According to court records, Dhakane always instructed his clients in the art of how to fraudulently claim asylum to American authorities upon arrival.

Dhakane would later admit he had transported seven Somali jihadists over the southwestern border equipped with his asylum fraud advice, sending the FBI on a mad nationwide scramble to find them all.

They never could.

When Dhakane decided to retire from smuggling in 2008, he crossed from Mexico into Texas and claimed asylum himself based on a fraudulent persecution tale that omitted his own extensive terrorism ties. Prosecutors eventually convicted Dhakane of asylum fraud for (naturally) not revealing that he had been a guerrilla fighter for the terrorist group AIAI, and that he had worked as a ranking “hawaladar,” a facilitator of transferring terrorist funding, for senior AIAI leaders — one of whom was his uncle.

The Dhakane asylum fraud prosecution is a rarity.

I hope it doesn’t take a Paris-style attack occurring in Houston or Phoenix to make homeland security leadership reverse course on this fail point.

Also see:

How Panama and Mexico Help Potential Terrorists Reach the U.S. Border

darien-gap-jungle-X2.sized-770x415xt

PJ MEDIA, BY TODD BENSMAN, JANUARY 6, 2016:

The State Department’s April 2015 “Country Report on Terrorism” no doubt came as sweet music to the ears of Special Interest Alien (SIA) smugglers. These are the smugglers of migrants from the spawning grounds of Islamic terrorism that, as I have been arguing, American homeland security leaders must strategically target with much greater aplomb to reduce the prospect of a Paris-like border infiltration attack here.

The April 2015 report noted that Latin American nations had only made “modest improvements to their counterterrorism capabilities and their border security” from the previous year(s). It noted corruption, weak government institutions, weak or non-existent legislation, and lack of resources as primary causes for little counterterrorism progress.

Conditions like those are, to SIA smugglers, pretty much a free pass to move their human contraband — and terrorist travelers posing as asylum seekers — from the Middle East through Latin America to the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s how so many of the Paris attackers did it in Europe: their smugglers took advantage of the same advantageous institutional weaknesses in Turkey, Italy, the Balkans, Hungary, Greece, and other countries.

One might forgive developing Latin American nations, relatively new to democracy, for slow progress in achieving basic state functionalities that could disrupt or deter such U.S.-bound smuggling of Paris-like terrorists. But less forgiveness is warranted for easily reversible formal government policies, which — as I found in my Naval Postgraduate School thesis researchovertly assist SIA smuggling.

I call the policy “catch, rest, and release,” and peg it squarely on two countries that are among our closest southern allies: Panama and Mexico. Rather than detain, investigate, and deport, Panama and Mexico provide housing, food, and medical services for a couple of weeks, and then release the migrants with full legal status. They know this will enable the travelers to continue unmolested out of their own territories and towards America’s southwestern border.

That’s why “catch, rest, and release” is a third attackable fail point of the smuggling networks, right up there with Latin America’s enabling diplomatic stations inside Islamic nations and with the multi-talented, hard-to-replace smuggling kingpins.

To understand the significance of “catch, rest, and release” to the SIA smugglers and their clients, one must grasp that migrants are paying once-in-a-lifetime fortunes to make it as far as Panama and Mexico. The mere prospect of deportation from one or both of those countries, short of the American border, portends a devastating financial loss not easily raised again for second attempts. Certainly, smugglers would have to charge more for routing adaptation that would have prospective migrant clients thinking twice about paying to attempt the new gauntlet. Therefore, in my estimation, lengthy detention and deportation from Panama and Mexico would threaten the viability of many SIA smuggling organizations.

Instead, the current policies of Panama and Mexico provide such a level of comfort and aid that SIA smugglers have come to count on them. Let’s use a clarifying example to see how all this works.

Panama, for instance, is a bottleneck bridge connecting South America — where many SIAs first land — to Central America. SIAs must traverse Panamanian territory to get to the U.S.-Mexico border. To get there, they must first exit Colombia territory and enter into a 40-mile, unpatrolled jungle wilderness of Panama known as the Darien Gap. The smugglers have no worries in Colombia; the 2014 State Department report stated that Colombian border security “remained an area of vulnerability” in part because only 1,500 of the country’s 180,000 national police officers were devoted to border security — elsewhere. In turn, Panama has left the Darien to the smugglers as well. The State Department report said Panama continued a “struggle to exert sovereignty in the underserved Darien region,” through which an estimated 7,000 migrants traveled in 2013 alone (8,432 during 2014, and 3,800 during the first three months of 2015).

With no border patrolling in the Darien wilderness, exhausted migrants who achieved the three-to-seven day journey eagerly turned themselves in to Panamanian security forces waiting at trail’s end, knowing they would be provided with food, housing, and a release with legal status. Within a few weeks, SIA migrants are thus able to continue northward, well-rested, refreshed, and legal. Otto Reich, former U.S. assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs,told the Wall Street Journal that, despite knowing this human traffic threatened U.S. national security, Panamanian officials “know they are coming to the U.S. and … will no longer be Panama’s problem.”

Mexico, the other key bottleneck transit country, appears no less helpful.

Once through Guatemala, which amounts to an unimpeded “super highway of human smuggling,” SIAs gladly turn themselves in to Mexican immigration authorities. An ICE agent testifying in the 2010 asylum fraud case of Somali smuggler Ahmed Mohammad Dhakane described Mexico’s policy:

“Most of them, all of the East Africans and many from the Middle East, they will surrender at Tapachula (in the state of Chiapas bordering Guatemala), the Mexicans will hold them for, you know, ten to fifteen days, and then they will give them an order of deportation, and they are given 30 days to leave the country at that point.”

On the day after a Paris-like border infiltration attack on the American homeland, our political and diplomatic leadership may well start to ask themselves: with friends like Panama and Mexico, who needs enemies?