A recent report by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), a division of the U.S. Justice Department, downplays the threat of terrorists crossing the U.S.-Mexico border even as it paints a picture of a border wide open to the smuggling activities of Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), whose poisons and criminal co-conspirators are now found in every region of the United States.
The NDIC's National Drug Threat Assessment for 2010, released on March 25, twice appears to assert that there have been no documented cases of terrorists illegally entering the United States across the Mexican border, an assertion contradicted by a 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, a 2007 statement to the El Paso Times by then-Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and 2005 testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by FBI Director Robert Mueller.
"Of some concern to law enforcement officials is the potential for using drug smuggling routes to move terrorists or transport weapons of mass destruction into the United States," says page 14 of the NDIC threat assessment. "However, there have been no incidents of this type documented, and according to federal law enforcement officials, the involvement of Mexican DTOs in this type of activity is very unlikely."
Three pages later, the report states:
"Of particular concern is the smuggling of criminal aliens and gang members who pose public safety threats to communities throughout the border region and the country. These individuals include hundreds of undocumented aliens from special-interest countries, primarily China, but also Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan, and members from transnational gangs such as Barrio Azteca, Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13), transnational Surenos (including 18th Street, Florencia and Los Wonders), who also illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border annually. Available reporting indicates that some ASOs (alien smuggling organizations) specialize in smuggling special-interest aliens into the United States. Of those undocumented aliens from special-interest countries that have been interdicted, none have been documented to be known or suspected terrorists. Moreover, according to law enforcement and intelligence reporting, DTOs have demonstrated no interest in engaging in terrorist smuggling from Mexico into the United States."
"Special interest countries," according to GAO, are those "the Department of State has determined to represent a potential terrorist threat to the United States."