A few days ago a top law enforcement official finally confirmed that Islamic terrorists have infiltrated the United States through Mexico, a story that Judicial Watch broke last year as part of an ongoing series involving the dangerously porous southern border.
Last October JW reported that four members of the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), who entered the U.S. through the Mexican border, were arrested in McAllen and Pharr Texas. Then, over the summer, JW reported that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling foreigners from countries with terrorist links into a small Texas rural town near El Paso and they’re using remote farm roads—rather than interstates—to elude the Border Patrol and other law enforcement barriers. The information comes from sources on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border who say the Special Interest Aliens (SIA) are being transported to stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso on a state road – Highway 20.
Prior to that JW published a series of investigative articles citing high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources certifying that Islamic terrorist groups are operating in at least two Mexican border towns. In August, 2014 ISIS planned to attack the U.S. with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) from a camp in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies were all placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning the terrorist threat.
This past spring JW sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police inspector disclosed that ISIS is actually operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso. The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources told JW.
For the most part, government officials have refused to go on the record about these serious terrorist threats and in fact many have outright denied they exist or have tried silencing sources. For instance, a congressman (Beto O’Rourke) who represents El Paso in the U.S. House of Representatives telephoned area offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) in an effort to identify—and evidently intimidate—sources that may have been used by JW to break the ISIS in Juarez story.
This makes it refreshing to hear a high-level government official confirm what JW has been reporting for more than a year. During a visit to Laredo a few days ago the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Steven McCraw, answered a question from a member of the public who asked if any suspected ISIS terrorists had ever been apprehended on the Mexican border. A local news outlet published McCraw’s answer: “Individuals that come across the Texas/Mexican border from countries with a known terrorism presence and the answer to that is yes. We have individuals that we’ve needed to debrief in Pashto/Dari. Not a lot of Pashto and Dari speakers around. But you can’t think about the last attack; you have to think of the next attack and where our vulnerabilities are. So, we’re concerned about that.”
Before becoming DPS director in 2009 McCraw was an FBI special agent in several large U.S. cities as well as a DPS narcotics agent and a Texas state trooper.