The Iraqi infiltration
11/20/2002 12:00:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
How many of Saddam Hussein's sleeper terrorists are waiting
dormant in the United States to retaliate against us when the War on Iraq
The Bush administration has begun to monitor Iraqis inside our
country to identify potential domestic terrorist threats posed by
sympathizers of the Baghdad regime, according to The New York Times. But
while the new intelligence program is tracking thousands of Iraqi citizens
and Iraqi-Americans with dual citizenship who are attending our universities
or working at private corporations, there is no indication of what federal
authorities are doing to locate the untold numbers of illegal aliens from
Iraq who have streamed across our open borders.
More than 115,000 people from Iraq and other Middle Eastern
countries are here illegally. Some 6,000 Middle Eastern men who have defied
deportation orders remain on the loose. And an international crime ring, led
by Iraqi native George Tajirian, demonstrates the scope of the alarming
problem of potential terrorists pressing at our southern gate.
Tajirian's ring guided aliens from all over the world into the
United States -- usually across the Rio Grande or through El Paso, Texas,
checkpoints -- and arranged transportation and lodging for them once inside.
According to federal prosecutors, Tajirian charged up to $15,000 a head --
chump change for deep-pocketed terrorist enterprises. During Tajirian's
trial, which resulted in a 13-year prison sentence, prosecutors introduced
evidence that Tajirian was responsible for smuggling individuals with known
ties to subversive or terrorist organizations as well as individuals with
known criminal histories.
All told, law enforcement officials believe Tajirian and his
Mexican collaborator, Angel Molina, may have smuggled more than 1,000 Middle
Eastern aliens across the southwest frontier. The whereabouts of many of the
smugglees remains unknown.
So far, Hussein and his Iraqi henchmen have refrained from
direct, conventional terrorist attacks on American soil. But as Central
Intelligence Agency Deputy Director John McLaughlin recently noted: "Should
Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he
probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions.
Such terrorism might involve conventional means, as with Iraq's unsuccessful
attempt at a terrorist offensive in 1991, or (conventional biological
And yet, our borders remain wide open to infiltrators who may be
toting more than suntan lotion and disposable cameras in their luggage.
Among the few smugglers who have been caught in the past year:
In late May 2002, federal agents arrested two Egyptian nationals
for allegedly trying to smuggle illegal Middle Eastern immigrants into New
Jersey by way of Mexico. For a fee of $8,000, court documents say, the
suspected smuggling ring flew customers on tourist visas to Brazil, then
sent them to Guatemala, through Mexico, and finally across the southwest
border into America.
Just last month, a Washington, D.C., jury convicted Mohammed
Hussein Assadi of smuggling Iraqis into the United States through Cali,
Colombia, Ecuador, and other locations in South America. Assadi supplied
illegal alien Iraqis with stolen and altered European passports and
round-trip airline tickets to the U.S. in exchange for up to $8,000 per
These Iraqi smugglees purchased documents at a commercial vendor
in Northern Iraq called the "Market of Passports," which they used to travel
through Turkey and Ecuador into Colombia. According to a statement from the
U.S. attorney's office, Assadi instructed the aliens to destroy the
fraudulent passports and tickets while en route to America and to surrender
to U.S. immigration authorities without disclosing their true place of
origin. The scheme relied on smug knowledge of our government's "catch and
release" policy for illegal aliens who are freed pending deportation
proceedings -- a policy that remains in place today.
"There is simply no way to know all those who illegally entered
the United States through this defendant's efforts," Assistant U.S. Attorney
Laura Ingersoll stated in a memorandum to the court.
Meanwhile, the Immigration and Naturalization Service is busy
building light beacons and water stations for illegal aliens from around the
world penetrating our country from the south, and the Bush White House is
preparing to reward illegal border-crossers from Mexico with "earned
Our border insanity continues.