Terrorists Training in South America Threaten US National Security
by Jim Kouri, CPP
As Americans remember the horror of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington more than five years ago, the US borders are practically as porous as ever. Yet Americans get few answers during the heated debate. What many hear are abstractions about tightening border security with no mention of how that is to be achieved.
According to testimony given to the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee by General Peter Pace, then Vice Chairman, now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hamas has joined Hezbollah and Al Qaeda in the Triple Frontier Zone in Latin America where the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay converge.
There the Islamic terror groups train recruits, gather intelligence on targets, launder money and sell drugs. There is evidence that these terrorists and narco-terrorists will soon migrate north into the United States. He cited terrorism reports indicating terrorist groups are active in Canada and Central-South America.
Border Patrol agents began to voice what many believed were legitimate concerns about "armed incursions" into the United States from Mexico-based assailants. They reported that heavily armed Mexican army units and federal police, called Federales, had infiltrated US territory and fired upon them, in some cases because -- federal agents would later discover -- Mexican drug lords had put prices on the heads of American law-enforcement agents serving along the border. Where was the outrage by our political leaders and the mainstream media over this blatant violation of our national sovereignty?
Recently, a number of armed gunmen entered the US from Mexico and caused National Guard troops to retreat. Not only did the President and his administration remain silent about this incursion, but the elite media either ignored the story or minimized its significance.
Most government and news reports of the illegal aliens' confrontation with the Guard troops appear to assume the invading gunmen were Mexican. But with all involved in the investigation of the incident saying they're not certain who these armed men were, how do we know they weren't terrorists conducting a recon mission?
Some security experts had high hopes that President Bush would bring up the border security problem during his many meetings with Mexican President Vincente Fox. It never happened. Quite the opposite occurred. The two leaders discussed ways of relaxing immigration restrictions including a de facto amnesty program.
The GAO conducted a vulnerability test at both borders and their undercover operatives were successful in sneaking radiological material across both. The operation merited a few news stories and was given short shrift even by the liberal-left who seek any opportunity to denigrate the president and government agencies.
Putting aside terrorism, the lack of border security contributes to crime. In Los Angeles, a look at outstanding arrest warrants for homicide reveals that over 90% are for illegal aliens. Examination of all LA felony arrest warrants (murder, rape, armed robbery, etc.) shows that 65% are for illegal aliens, according to the Manhattan Institute.
The Institute estimates that 350 killers managed to escape back into Mexico and the Mexican government refuses to extradite them to the US to stand trial. In another study -- this one by the Government Accountability Office -- a sample group of about 55,000 criminal aliens committed over 700,000 criminal acts.
Meanwhile, our northern border with Canada has many law-enforcement leaders even more concerned. Canadian security experts concede that there are several radical Islamist groups active in their country. In fact, Hezbollah's largest headquarters is located not in the Middle East but in Toronto. One Canadian intelligence officer claims that his country's immigration policy is more lax than US policy and their politicos more liberal when it comes to refusing to restrict illegal aliens from entering Canada.
If these killers aren't afraid to target or kill cops, or are willing to confront National Guard troops, then who in America is really safe from terrorists, murderers, rapists and other offenders; and anyone wishing to address the problem is labeled a racist or xenophobe.
Americans can probably count on one hand the number of congressional leaders who will even debate the issues of illegal immigration or border security honestly. What sense does it make to inspect shipping containers in New York seaports while ignoring the vulnerabilities existing on our borders?
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.