Tagged: El Paso

Govt. audit: “Elevated” terrorism threat to U.S. from Mexico

(JUDICIAL WATCH) — A new government audit confirms what Judicial Watch has been reporting for years, that Islamic terrorists are operating in Mexican border towns and infiltrating the United States to carry out attacks. In a report issued this month by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the agency notes that the state faces a full spectrum of threats and “due to the recent actions of lone offenders or small groups affiliated with or inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other foreign terrorist organizations, we assess that the current terrorism threat to Texas is elevated.”

Safety officials in the Lone Star State also write in the 86-page document that they are “especially concerned about the potential for terrorist infiltration across the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly as foreign terrorist fighters depart Syria and Iraq and enter global migration flows.” They also express worries about Syrian refugees that have been sent to Texas under President Obama’s settlement program because the government doesn’t have a system to properly vet them. Judicial Watch has also reported extensively on that national security crisis. Read the latest stories here and here. “We see a potential that these challenges may leave the state exposed to extremist actors who pose as authentic refugees, and who are determined to later commit violent acts,” the Texas report states.

In the same manner that ISIS deployed operatives to their targets in European capitals, the terrorist group could implement the same tactics to infiltrate operatives across the Texas-Mexico border, the new report points out. “Human smugglers, working along established Latin American routes, have long transported Syrians, Iraqis and other immigration from countries where terrorist groups operate to our land border with Mexico,” Texas safety officials write in the report. The U.S. government calls them Special Interest Aliens (SIA) and in past few years they have come from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt and many other “countries of interest” in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia where terrorist groups are active.

The southern border has become a hotbed of Islamic terrorism in recent years and Judicial Watch has exposed the national security disaster as part of an ongoing investigation into the dangerously porous region. In 2015 Judicial Watch reported that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling SIAs from countries with terrorist links into a small Texas rural town near El Paso. Sources on both sides of the border confirmed to Judicial Watch that the smugglers use remote farm roads—rather than interstates—to elude the Border Patrol and other law enforcement barriers. Once they clear the border, the SIAs are transported to stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso on a state road – Highway 20. Then the SIAs wait for pick-up in the area’s sand hills just across Highway 20.

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El Chapo transferred to prison in border city Ciudad Juarez for potential U.S. extradition

(NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) — Mexican drug czar Joaquin Guzman, who twice staged Hollywood-worthy jailbreaks, was moved Saturday from a central Mexican lockup to a prison in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.

The cartel kingpin, known by the infamous moniker “El Chapo,” was brought to the site across the border from El Paso, Tex., overnight, a security official told the Associated Press.

No reason for the transfer was provided.

Jose Refugio Rodriguez, an attorney for Guzman, confirmed that he was sent to the Cefereso No. 9 prison.

He said Guzman’s defense team was not notified beforehand, and one of his lawyers was traveling to Juarez to try to meet with their client.

“I don’t know what the strategy is,” Refugio told The Associated Press. “I can’t say what the government is thinking.”

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Cartels help terrorists in Mexico get to U.S. to explore targets

(JUDICIAL WATCH) — Mexican drug traffickers help Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the United States to explore targets for future attacks, according to information forwarded to Judicial Watch by a high-ranking Homeland Security official in a border state.

Among the jihadists that travel back and forth through the porous southern border is a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso, Texas. Khabir trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen and has lived in Mexico for more than a year, according to information provided by JW’s government source.

Now Khabir trains thousands of men—mostly Syrians and Yemenis—to fight in an ISIS base situated in the Mexico-U.S. border region near Ciudad Juárez, the intelligence gathered by JW’s source reveals. Staking out U.S. targets is not difficult and Khabir actually brags in an Italian newspaper article published last week that the border region is so open that he “could get in with a handful of men, and kill thousands of people in Texas or in Arizona in the space of a few hours.” Foreign Affairs Secretary Claudia Ruiz, Mexico’s top diplomat, says in the article that she doesn’t understand why the Obama administration and the U.S. media are “culpably neglecting this phenomenon,” adding that “this new wave of fundamentalism could have nasty surprises in store for the United States.”

This disturbing development appears on the Open Source Enterprise, the government database that collects and analyzes valuable material from worldwide print, broadcast and online media sources for the U.S. intelligence community. Only registered federal, state and local government employees can view information and analysis in the vast database and unauthorized access can lead to criminal charges. Updated data gathered on Khabir reveals he’s 52 years old and was ordered to leave Kuwait about a decade ago over his extremist positions. Khabir is currently on ISIS’s (also known as ISIL) payroll and operates a cell in an area of Mexico known as Anapra, according to the recently obtained information.

A year ago Judicial Watch reported on an ISIS camp in this exact area, just a few miles from El Paso. JW’s April 14, 2015 report identified Anapra as the location of the ISIS base, details that were provided to JW by sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector. Anapra is situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. At the time JW reported that another ISIS cell was established to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas to target the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming. Sources told JW that, during the course of a joint operation, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

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Introduction by the author

This book came about because of the kidnapping of an American newspaper photographer by a Juarez drug trafficker, a brutal and unprecedented event that caused an international scandal and brought about the downfall of one of the major drug traffickers of the time.

Until the kidnapping, I didn’t have much interest in the subject of drugs. Drug trafficking was part of the background noise of the El Paso-Juarez region where I worked as a reporter. It was low keyed even in its violence; it did not draw too much attention to itself. My journalistic work, which had begun for the El Paso Herald-Post in 1984, focused primarily on reporting on a political movement in northern Mexico that was challenging the entrenched one-party system that had ruled Mexico since 1929. Juarez, the largest city in the state of Chihuahua, was the scene of what today would be called a “color” revolution — a democratic movement that used tactics of non-violent resistance to achieve its goals. Such a revolution was unfolding only ten blocks south of the newspaper, just on the other side of the Rio Grande. Read more »