Department of Public Safety officials in Texas report that the nation’s unsecured southern border is enticing Islamic extremists plotting terror attacks on U.S. citizens.
A recently declassified threat assessment reveals that public safety officials believe ISIS and other terror organizations are using Mexico as a staging ground to launch attacks in the U.S. similar to the deadly assaults in Europe in recent years.
From the report:
Given how ISIS deployed operatives to their targets in European capitals via long-distance and illegal immigration methods, we recognize the potential that ISIS and other groups have noted the successful use of this tactic and would contemplate infiltrating operatives in the same manner across the Texas-Mexico border, possibly also posing as asylum seekers. We recognize that millions of migrants not associated with terrorism had overwhelmed European border controls in comparison. However, we note that human smugglers, working along established Latin American routes, have long transported Syrians, Iraqis, and other immigrants from countries where terrorist groups operate to our land border with Mexico, where they often seek asylum too. As well, migrants from countries with a known terrorism presence –known as “special interest aliens” (SIAs) –have included travelers from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt and many other “countries of interest” in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia where terrorist groups are active. These immigrants sometimes seek asylum fraudulently at the Texas-Mexico border, as did the terrorist-immigrants upon reaching Europe.
The officials contend not only that terrorists could be slipping across the border but that they also may find willing supporters of extremism in refugees resettled in Texas by the Obama administration.
The terror threat along the nation’s southern border has long been acknowledged by U.S. immigration officials.
Back in 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) head Kenneth Palinkas warned that the inability of immigration officials to thoroughly vet each of the thousands of new immigrants flooding the U.S. under Obama’s policies would help potential terrorists set the stage for “an even more catastrophic event then what occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.”
President Donald Trump has earned widespread criticism for efforts to assuage concerns of terror along the southern border, especially since his Friday executive order blocking travelers from seven countries known as terror hotbeds and halting the refugee program.
The administration, however, remains poised to forge ahead, announcing this week that it is preparing to begin construction on Trump’s promised border wall with hopes of finishing the project within two years.