The forthcoming book by journalist Todd Bensman, AMERICA’S COVERT BORDER WAR, is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever else books are sold. This 13-year work of journalism explores one of the most politically powerful – and therefore nationally contentious – threat notions to ever have arisen about the American southern border: that Islamic jihadists might steal over the frontier through Mexico and harm the nation. No border problem incites more controversy every time it is publicly raised, leaving the American public hanging without resolution. This book finally provides that comprehensive resolution. It reveals, for the first time, that after 9/11 America deployed secret counterterrorism campaigns at the border and far beyond for the sole purpose of detecting and catching migrating jihadists and dismantling the smuggling organizations that make their ultra-long distance travel possible.
The book reveals how these long-lived covert programs on the southern frontier and throughout Latin America to counter a threat that is often said not to exist. The covert homeland security enterprise is responsible for apprehending multitudes of dangerous jihadists and so far prevented attack but also are suffering the effects of denial-related neglect at a time of escalating risk.
- Publisher: Bombardier Books (February 2, 2021)
- Length: 288 pages
- ISBN13: 9781642937251
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ABOUT THE BOOK
Americans concerned by unchecked global migration, porous borders, and national security will feel surprised to learn that thousands of migrants from the Islamic world breach the U.S.-Mexican border each year, despite widespread media insistence that these long-haul travelers are imagined, as are the hardened jihadists caught among them each year. Perhaps no other idea about America’s border security raises more conflict, claims, counter-claims, rebuttals and false narratives than does this idea that terrorists, could cross the southern border, or might, would, or already have. But this book provides a first comprehensive resolution of the matter. This is an intelligence world insider’s untold story of the ambitious and intrigue-laden covert American counterterrorism programs built after 9/11 from the U.S. border to the tip of South America. These programs were created to protect Americans from a supposedly notional infiltration threat that has been killing and wounding thousands in Europe in recent years. The surprising conclusion: the American effort has prevented attack on the homeland so far, shielding an unknowing nation from the migrant-jihadist bloodshed Europe has suffered as a result of organized terrorist border infiltration that began in 2015 and have continued since.
But how much longer can these programs keep America safe from the same threat without the public recognition that they exist, and the care and attention that they deserve? This geographically sprawling counterterrorism enterprise — the last unrevealed one from the 9/11 era — is suffering from denialism and neglect at America’s peril…just as Europe was before its 2015-to-present calamity with mass migration from the Islamic world. It has not kept pace with an evolved human proliferation threat tied to global migration flows of volumes not seen since World War II. But this book is much more than revelation and complaint; it provides solutions for the nation’s leaders to better protect America from this unusual border threat.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Bensman is an award-winning newspaper reporter and magazine writer who transitioned to a career as a national security intelligence professional for the Texas Department of Public Safety and then returned to the journalism trade. He currently serves as the Texas-based Senior National Security Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a Washington, D.C. policy institute for which he writes, lectures, and grants media interviews about the nexus between immigration and national security. He has testified before Congress as an expert witness and regularly appears on radio and television outlets for his national security and border security expertise. Separately, he reports on international and domestic terrorism matters for major online news sites and teaches terrorism and journalism as an adjunct lecturer for Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Bensman was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Phoenix, Arizona before moving to Alaska to work as reporter and then back to settle in his native Texas after reporting on wars, rebellions, and the strangeness of life in more than 30 countries. He is the recipient of two National Press Club awards for his foreign reporting, an Inter-American Press Association Award, and two Texas Institute of Letters awards among many others. In line with his hybridized journalism-intelligence career, Bensman holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Todd Bensman is one of the last remaining authentic counter terrorism experts and investigators on jihadist terrorism whose new book will mesmerize, shock, inform and totally enlighten you on the covert war against Islamist militants fought by the government inside the US as well as around the world. Having worked as both a national security investigative reporter as well as a top level counter terrorism intelligence analyst for the government, Bensman is in a unique position to reveal a fascinating story spanning the globe over almost two decades that will interest all readers.I must say that in today’s world of totally politicized media and the poisonous influence of political correctness in corrupting the objective truth about jihadist terrorism, Bensman rises above all others in revealing what is really going on and what has gone on. And even though I have specialized in terrorism for more than 25 years, I have learned more from reading the work of Todd Bensman than any other counter terrorist official or “expert” in the world bar none.” —Steve Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, author of seven books on violent Islamic extremism
“Amidst multiple international crises, most of the media have lost sight of the jihadist threat to America. Todd Bensman is a welcome exception. His investigative reporting on continuing terrorist attempts to infiltrate the United States deserves wide attention from specialists and the general public alike.”— Clifford D. May, founder and president, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
“Bensman draws on his many years studying the U.S.-Mexican border to establish the presence of a major but secret national counterterrorism project, then to show the serious neglect that hobbles it, and finally to recommend solutions. He needs urgently to be heeded, lest disaster come via the Rio Grande.” —Daniel Pipes, founder and president, The Middle East Forum, thought leader on U.S. foreign policy in the region and author of 16 books on Islam and the Middle East
“Progressives on the cultural and political left harbor a lot of dangerous and seditious ideas about illegal immigration. Chief among them is that lax border enforcement and massive waves of third world migrants are not an invitation to terrorist infiltration. But Todd Bensman’s new book, America’s Covert Border War, is even more dangerous and seditious because it speaks plain powerful truth about the very real problem of jihadist infiltration, backed up by the kind of deep reporting that will challenge the assumptions of even the most willfully ignorant, glib or smug. The book is a well-grounded warning from a longtime veteran of the War on Terror as well as a bold rebuke to the media’s unfortunate culture of denial, avoidance and resistance.”— William McGowan, best-selling author of Coloring The News; Gray Lady Down
“Journalist and former counterterrorism intelligence manager Todd Bensman shines a spotlight into a complex issue that few truly understand. Trust me when I say this, Bensman has been in the trenches and behind the scenes to safeguard Texas. He deserves our thanks for this.” —Fred Burton, former Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent and New York Times best-selling author of Ghost, Beirut Lives, and Chasing Shadows
“Drawing upon his unique experience, both as a counter-terrorism professional within the Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as his many years as an investigative journalist, Bensman utilizes a vast range of primary sources to provide an unmatched, richly detailed account of the vulnerabilities to terrorist infiltration that exist at the United States’ southern border. Timely and engaging, this book cuts through the otherwise deeply politicized debate that surrounds this topic to give a clear-eyed, factually-based account of the threat as we know it, the counter-terrorism machinery that was put in place after 9/11 to defeat it, and the worrisome holes in the system that persist to this day. Simply put, it is a must-read for anyone wishing to get to grips with this issue.“ —Sam Mullins, professor at Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies and author of Jihadist Infiltration of Migrant Flows to Europe: Perpetrators, Modus Operandi and Policy Implications
“Todd Bensman provides a deeply disturbing national security perspective to failed immigration controls from Panama through Mexico to the southern borders of Mexico to which we were blind. Bensman now examines the threat of lone jihadists and organized groups moving through those countries to the United States. He knows this world from his reporting on the ground in Central America and Mexico and as a government intelligence worker. With this book, we are far less blind. —Dr. Michael Lauderdale, University of Texas at Austin, Clara Pope Willoughby Centennial Professor
ABOUT BOMBARDIER BOOKS
PostHill Press’s Bombardier Books imprint signed Bensman to produce the book.
Bombardier’s mission statement indicates why it was interested in Bensman’s ground-breaking book about the threat of terrorism along the U.S. southern border:
“In a time when the media and much of America’s elite try to limit and stifle debate in the name of sensitivity, safe spaces and political correctness, now more than ever we need writers with courage and conviction — and the gift to be able to express themselves with intelligence, eloquence, and good humor. Now is the perfect time to unleash a torrent of provocative thought onto the political and cultural battleground. This is the mission of Bombardier Books. Because sometimes you need to drop rhetorical bombs from 40,000 feet to get people to hear new ideas.“
To establish veracity, the book relies on under-reported public records, leaked government documents and interviews with the men and women who built and operated the near and far campaigns. No other book or work of journalism has revealed these counter-terrorism programs even 15 years after their creation, nor how they work, the jihadist travelers caught coming, and what happens to them after capture. This book should prove indispensable to anyone interested in knowing the totality of American efforts to secure U.S. land borders. In associating terrorism with immigration, this book will no doubt stoke the coals of America’s cultural politics, though it does so on the premise that disagreement and controversy over the meaning of facts can only abet the health of the nation. While other immigration and border security books have discussed the prospect of Islamic border infiltration, they have most often done so with hyperbolic exaggeration and half-truths. None have so soberly triangulated the existence of counter terrorism programs designed to reduce a supposedly phantom threat.
In revealing this unusual covert border enterprise, this book cannot, of course, help but to document the extent to which jihadists obviously are not a figment of imagination to those carrying out their duties; extremists of ill-intent have indeed crossed. They have gotten caught in the American cordon. This book includes never-before-told stories of terrorist apprehensions. It also proposes a novel thesis: that America has been spared terror attack from its land borders only because these American programs caught terrorists. It proposes that the whole enterprise is in trouble, though, suffering from denialism-related neglect at precisely the wrong moment. Recommendations for its repair are provided as the clock ticks.
QUOTES FROM BENSMAN ABOUT HIS BOOK
Radio interview August 28, 2020:
“This goes to probably one of the more contentious notions about border security, especially on the southern border, which is this idea that Islamic jihadists could come over that border and penetrate into the United States interior and conduct attacks or do support operations or intelligence. And every time that notion is floated, it creates a very contentious and heated national debate where people on the political right would say it’s a problem that we’re ignoring and people on the political left would say, ‘you’re lying. None of that’s true… It’s fear-mongering.’ My book is an attempt to just resolve once and for all what that problem actually is. What is the neutral truth of that threat vector about the border? Along with drug trafficking and illegal immigration and sex trafficking and the rest of it … this problem draws this great contention because it’s so powerful politically. If you can get the truth on your side, that terrorists can and have crossed that border, you can shut the border down on the strength of that alone. But if you can deny it, or muddle it, then you can keep the border less restricted and immigration less restricted. So I thought it was finally time to write the book addressing it.”
“What my book does is takes the aggregate of my experience working as an intelligence analyst and manager for the Texas Department of Public Safety for nine years, working on that issue, and as a journalist before I became an intelligence person… provides an objective truth about what’s happening down there. I thought that what I would focus on was the fact that the United States, for 13 or 14 years, has operated counterterrorism programs, very specific programs, in the dark – covert programs – on the border and throughout Latin America to deal with the possibility of jihadist attack through the border. And the fact that there is a counterterrorism project, an enterprise, down there should tell you that homeland security planners, strategists and political leaders have seen intelligence that the rest of us haven’t seen. They know things that, obviously, the rest of us don’t know because a lot of this is sort of classified, national security-realm stuff. So I pierce that in the book and describe what those men and women are doing, why they’re doing it, how they’re doing it, and what they’ve found down there. And I’ll just tell you that what they have found down there are jihadists coming through Latin America and reaching the U.S. southern border. They have found that.”