Texas Sheriffs Say Terrorists Entering US From Mexico

Kevin Mooney, CNSNews.com, August 21, 2006

The chief law enforcement officers of several Texas counties along the southern U.S. border warn that Arabic-speaking individuals are learning Spanish and integrating into Mexican culture before paying smugglers to sneak them into the United States. The Texas Sheriffs’ Border Coalition believes those individuals are likely terrorists and that drug cartels and some members of the Mexican military are helping them get across the border.

Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez of Zapata County, Texas told Cybercast News Service that Iranian currency, military badges in Arabic, jackets and other clothing are among the items that have been discovered along the banks of the Rio Grande River. The sheriff also said there are a substantial number of individuals crossing the southern border into the U.S. who are not Mexican. He described the individuals in question as well-funded and able to pay so-called “coyotes”—human smugglers—large sums of money for help gaining illegal entry into the U.S.

Although many of the non-Mexican illegal aliens are fluent in Spanish, Gonzalez said they speak with an accent that is not native.

“It’s clear these people are coming in for reasons other than employment,” Gonzalez said.

That sentiment is shared by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.).

“For years, Muslims and other ‘Special Interest Aliens’ from places other than Mexico have been streaming into the U.S. across our porous border,” Tancredo told Cybercast News Service. “These people are not paying $50,000 or more a head just to ‘take jobs no American will do.’

“Terrorists are working round the clock to infiltrate the United States,” he added. “Congress and this administration must address this gaping hole in our national security and they must do it now.”

Some of the more high profile pieces of evidence pointing to terrorist infiltration of the U.S. have been uncovered in Jim Hogg County, Texas, which experiences a high volume of smuggling activity, according to local law enforcement.

“We see patches on jackets from countries where we know al Qaeda to be active,” Gonzalez explained.

The patches appear to be military badges with Arabic lettering. One patch in particular, discovered this past December, caught the attention of federal homeland security officials, according to Gonzalez and local officials familiar with the investigation.

Sheriff Wayne Jernigan of Valverde County, Texas, told members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in March about one patch that read “midnight mission” and displayed an airplane flying over a building heading towards a tower. Translators with DHS have said some of the various phrases and slogans on the items could mean “martyr,” “way to eternal life,” or “way to immortality.”

Gonzalez told the House International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation in July that the terrorists are getting smarter.

“To avoid apprehension, we feel many of these terrorists attempt to blend in with persons of Hispanic origin when entering the country.” Gonzalez stated. “We feel that terrorists are already here and continue to enter our country on a daily basis.”

Sheriff Arvin West of Hudspeth County, Texas, told Cybercast News Service that he believes some Mexican soldiers are operating in concert with the drug cartels to aid the terrorists.

“There’s no doubt in my mind,” he said, “although the Mexican government and our government adamantly deny it.”

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Local authorities are particularly concerned about illegal aliens arriving from Special Interest Countries (SICs) where a radical version of Islam is known to flourish. Perry’s office cites Iraq, Iran, Indonesia and Bangladesh among those countries. A Tancredo spokesperson said the list also includes Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

As Cybercast News Service previously reported an internal audit of DHS that combines the number of illegal aliens arriving from SICs with the documented instances of illegal aliens arriving from countries identified as being state sponsors of terrorism (SSTs) yields a grand total of over 90,000 such illegal aliens who have been apprehended during the five year period from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2005.

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