At the Washington Times Stephen Dinan has a timely scoop that highlights the national security implications of our porous border with Mexico. Dinan reports:
A smuggling network has managed to sneak illegal immigrants from Middle Eastern terrorism hotbeds straight to the doorstep of the U.S., including helping one Afghan who authorities say was part of an attack plot in North America.
Immigration officials have identified at least a dozen Middle Eastern men smuggled into the Western Hemisphere by a Brazilian-based network that connected them with Mexicans who guided them to the U.S. border, according to internal government documents reviewed by The Washington Times.
Those smuggled included Palestinians, Pakistanis and the Afghan man who Homeland Security officials said had family ties to the Taliban and was “involved in a plot to conduct an attack in the U.S. and/or Canada.” He is in custody, but The Times is withholding his name at the request of law enforcement to protect investigations.
Some of the men handled by the smuggling network were nabbed before they reached the U.S., but others made it into the country. The Afghan man was part of a group of six from “special-interest countries.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter appears to have given Dinan a hand with his story:
The group, guided by two Mexicans employed by the smuggling network, crawled under the border fence in Arizona late last year and made it about 15 miles north before being detected by border surveillance, according to the documents, which were obtained by Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican.
As the Obama administration imports a wave of immigrants from Syria and forces them down our throats at locations unknown around the country, Dinan also adds this timely note:
[T]he documents obtained by Mr. Hunter confirm fears of a pipeline that can get would-be illegal immigrants from terrorist hotbeds to the threshold of the U.S.
Just as troubling, the Border Patrol didn’t immediately spot the Afghan man’s terrorist ties because the database that agents first checked didn’t list him. It wasn’t until agents checked an FBI database that they learned the Afghan may be a danger, the documents say.
Dinan’s current scoop follows up on his December 2015 story “Agents nab Pakistanis with terrorist connections crossing U.S. border.” At Politifact (!), Joshua Gillin has a useful roundup of such stories.
Do you suppose that others fitting the profile Dinan sketches have made it across the border undetected? I do. And that porous border with Mexico — President Obama means for us to keep it that way.