2004 was a good year for terrorists, violent gang members, law-breakers and fraud artists seeking safe haven in America. Let's reminisce:
The rise of MS-13 . The savage El Salvador-based gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), has now penetrated more than a dozen states. In May, a Fairfax, Va., teenager had his fingers chopped off in an MS-13 machete attack. In November, Washington, D.C.-area police received warning that MS-13 is plotting to ambush and kill them when they respond to service calls. Active in alien, drug and weapons smuggling, MS-13 members in America have been tied to numerous killings, robberies, carjackings, extortions and rapes. The gang has also been linked to efforts to help al Qaeda infiltrate the U.S.-Mexico border.
The path of least resistance . Border Patrol officers and local investigative journalists in the Southwest reported on increasing numbers of Middle Eastern males entering illegally from Mexico. Muslim prayer books and Arabic diaries were discovered on "Terrorist Alley" in southern Arizona. Suspected al Qaeda operative Adnan Shukrijumah, a fugitive Saudi pilot who reportedly met with MS-13 earlier this year, is believed to be in Mexico.
In April, a suspected al Qaeda agent arrested in Queens, N.Y., revealed a scheme to smuggle terrorists across the U.S.-Mexico border. In July, two alert Border Patrol agents apprehended Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed at McAllen (Texas) airport. She was carrying an altered South African passport, muddy jeans and dirty shoes. She confessed to having entered the country illegally by crossing the Rio Grande River. Court documents showed that she was on a government watch list and had entered the United States up to 250 times.
Upon news of Ahmed's arrest, intelligence experts reported that suspected terror agents are acquiring passports from South Africa and other non-suspect countries; flying to the al Qaeda-coddling "tri-border area" in South America; learning Spanish; traveling to Mexico; and doing the backstroke into America. Lawmakers in Texas warned that the feds are arresting and then releasing thousands of other suspected terrorists classified as "Other Than Mexicans" because of lack of jail space.
President Bush said "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande." I repeat: Neither do the Islamofascists.