He wasn’t on the terror watch list, but why was he trying to sneak into the U.S. at all?
by Todd Bensman, New York Post, February 2, 2023:
Good news: The Iranian caught in the trunk of a smuggler’s car illegally crossing the southern border last week wasn’t on the FBI’s terrorism watch list, as was previously reported.
Except … even if he wasn’t on the list, how is this not a terrifying sign of the national security threat we face?
The car-trunk Iranian highlights that intercontinental human smuggling networks do indeed bring people from the most adversarial nations in the world, as detailed in my recent book “America’s Covert Border War, the Untold Story of the Nation’s Battle to Prevent Jihadist Infiltration.”
Try as American law enforcement stationed abroad might to disrupt them, these smuggling organizations very much still can and do mainline strangers into Texas from countries where Islamic terrorist groups operate — along with those from nations like Russia, Syria and China.
Last fiscal year, the Border Patrol apprehended 98 immigrants who were on the FBI’s terrorism watch list — an all-time record — and 38 more have been caught in just October, November and December, according to US Customs and Border Protection’s public statistics website.
The probabilities are sky-high that some watch-listed immigrants were among the estimated 300,000 who evaded the Border Patrol in just the past four months — and the 1 million who did so last year.
The danger is real, particularly since Iran’s rulers publicly vow revenge for the killing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Recent reporting had Iran plotting to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for the Soleimani killing.
The US security enterprise takes this threat seriously. In late 2020, the Americans were behind the September 2020 bust in Brazil of Reza Sahami, a dual citizen of Canada and Iran who was caught guiding a group of seven Iranian nationals in the city of Assis Brasil on the border of Peru. All seven Iranians possessed fraudulent or altered passports from Israel, Denmark and Canada. The Sahami organization flew Iranians into Canada on fake passports but also had some smuggled over the southern border.
“Sahami has been smuggling criminals across international borders for over 10 years,” said ICE Attaché for Brazil and Bolivia Robert Fuentes in the scarcely reported 2020 ICE press statement.
But even before the Soleimani retaliation threat, American homeland security and intelligence agencies rightly worried that Iran would easily send its spies over the border — or spies of its terrorist offspring, Hezbollah….
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.