South American alien smugglers are assisting Islamic Sunni extremists to cross the border into the United States “with ease”, according to a new U.S. South Command intelligence report.
The Washington Free Beacon shared the report Monday, stating 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, 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.”
“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 the Washington 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,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the terrorist infiltrators take advantage of weaknesses in commercial transportation systems and immigration enforcement agencies in several countries along their route.
We recently reported that an arrested ISIS terror suspect confirmed that Islamic terror cells are operating in Mexico. Arrested Somali Muslims in Minnesota trying to join ISIS told how ISIS could use a route through Mexico to get into the United States. And yet another report revealed that that Middle Easterners are buying illegal citizenship documents through a criminal network in Honduras and using those documents to get U.S. visas to enter the United States.
From Washington Free Beacon:
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.
Washington Free Beacon also described how the smuggling network helps sneak Middle Easterners into the U.S.:
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.”
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.