Allow me to expand on something I wrote up more than a year ago for Townhall Magazine as part of a larger piece on Homeland Security -- the Islamic terrorist bad guys have been targeting our border for a while.
The U.S.-Mexico border has been a national security concern for several years -- and for good reason. In March 2005, federal officials revealed that the former leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (who was killed in U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq in June 2006) had announced his goal of attacking Americans in the U.S. homeland and suggested smuggling terrorists through Mexico.
That same month, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified on Capitol Hill that individuals from nations with known al Qaeda ties had entered the United States under false identities. Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, a member of the House committee receiving the director's testimony, later reported on the hearing to radio host Sean Hannity. Culberson revealed that, during the hearing, Mueller testified:
A month earlier (February 2005), Mueller testified to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee:There are individuals from countries with known al Qaeda connections who are changing their Islamic surnames to Hispanic-sounding names and obtaining false Hispanic identities, learning to speak Spanish and pretending to be Hispanic immigrants.
Columnist Deroy Murdock later reported more about the Kourani case:In Detroit, Mahmoud Youssef Kourani was indicted in the Eastern District of Michigan on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to Hezbollah. Kourani was already in custody for entering the country illegally through Mexico and was involved in fundraising activities on behalf of Hezbollah.
And several authorities have reported evidence of Islamic infiltration via the U.S.-Mexico border. Numerous reports were made in 2005 about Muslim prayer mats and Korans that were found in the border areas of Arizona.Kourani pleaded guilty in March 2005 to providing terrorists material support. After bribing a Mexican diplomat in Beirut for a visa, Kourani and another Middle Easterner's Mexican guides shepherded them into America. Kourani settled in Dearborn, Michigan's Lebanese-immigrant enclave, where he raised cash for Hezbollah [emphasis added].
Then, in a November 2005 interview with Human Events, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, revealed that he had been shown photos of evidence of Arab personal effects discovered in Laredo, Texas, near the Mexico border:
Murdock later reported more about what it was that Cornyn had been shown:HUMAN EVENTS: Do you have reason to believe that al Qaeda might want to come across our border?
CORNYN: Absolutely. Why not? It's easy to do.
HUMAN EVENTS: Do you have any information yourself about that?
CORNYN: I don't have any information that's it has actually happened.
HUMAN EVENTS: What about people telling you that it's likely to happen?
CORNYN: To me, it's just obvious, because if you have an open door for someone to walk through, why would you climb over the wall. I think, essentially, our border in between our points of entry are -- it's the wild, wild west.
HUMAN EVENTS: But wouldn't you have greater support for your bill, in other words, if you could get immigration authorities to say, ‘Here's what we know about al Qaeda'?
CORNYN: I think they're reluctant to talk about intelligence, but I will tell you that with my own eyes I have seen from Border Patrol anecdotal reports. Two examples: Juice boxes with Arabic writing on them that were collected by agents around the Laredo area.
HUMAN EVENTS: Those juice boxes were actually showed to you by Border Patrol people?
CORNYN: I saw pictures of them.
HUMAN EVENTS: Was it a Border Patrol people who showed them to you?
CORNYN: It was a federal government employee. And the second [picture] I saw was of a jacket that was found -- a piece of clothing -- that had a patch on it with Arabic writing. I don't read Arabic, so I don't know what it said. But it had a picture of a plane flying into a tall building on it.
HUMAN EVENTS: Where was that recovered?
CORNYN: That was in the Laredo area.
HUMAN EVENTS: Was it the same source who showed you? You actually saw the jacket?
CORNYN: I saw the picture of the jacket, as I saw the picture of the juice boxes.
HUMAN EVENTS: And you have no question about the credibility of this government official who was showing you this material?
CORNYN: I have no reason to question him.
HUMAN EVENTS: Is there any way you could go back to him and get this out? If people saw that, it would be the kind of thing that would also force the White House to deal with that aspect.
CORNYN: To some extent, people are in denial. Every time I talk about the vulnerability of our Southern border, people say the 9/11 people came here legally and that's a problem, and then they overstayed. Or they say, our Northern border is longer and easier to penetrate. But it just seems so obvious to me that a coyote, a human smuggler, who charges $1,500 to bring in a bartender or construction worker, would also, for the appropriate price, bring in somebody from a country of special interest. And, in fact, that is well known to the federal government.
And an October 2006 report from the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations titled "A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border" further exposed the threats at the border:Texas Border Patrol agents found a jacket with Arabic-language patches. One reads 'martyr' and 'way to immortality.' The other depicts a jet flying into a skyscraper.
If you're not serious about our border, you're not serious about national security. For me, it doesn't matter if you're a Republican or a Democrat, if you won't be serious about national security, I'm not sure why you're asking for my vote or my support.In addition to the criminal activities and violence of the cartels on our Southwest border, there is an ever-present threat of terrorist infiltration over the Southwest border. Data indicates that there are hundreds of illegal aliens apprehended entering the United States each year who are from countries known to support and sponsor terrorism.
• U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations have revealed that aliens were smuggled from the Middle East to staging areas in Central and South America, before being smuggled illegally into the United States.
• Members of Hezbollah have already entered the United States across the Southwest border.
• U.S. military and intelligence officials believe that Venezuela is emerging as a potential hub of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere. The Venezuelan government is issuing identity documents that could subsequently be used to obtain a U.S. visa and enter the country.