Book: Terrorist border crossings are real
by Paul Bedard, Washington Secrets Columnist | | February 08, 2021 10:29 AM
Critics laughed at former President Donald Trump when he claimed that terrorists, “some real bad ones,” had crossed the border just as he was selling Congress on paying for a border wall.
But it turns out that Trump was correct that in the waves of illegal immigrants pouring over the southern border in the last decade were dozens of terrorists and terror sympathizers.
In his new book, America’s Covert Border War, The Untold Story of the Nation’s Battle to Prevent Jihadist Infiltration, journalist and former counterterrorism intelligence official Todd Bensman found a model in Europe that could play out in the United States.
There, he found 104 crossed the border. That, he told Secrets, “proved the concept that border crossings by terrorists can and does happen.”Recommended For YouFew expect Trump conviction, even fewer to watch Senate trialUnity on civil war: Both sides see US ‘headed for bloodshed’Trump legal advice: Claim ‘the dog didn’t bark’
Government records he reviewed showed that 22,000 so-called “special interest aliens,” the catchphrase for terrorist-related immigrants, were “encountered” between 2008 and 2019.
“Professional homeland security leadership under both Democrats and Republicans, with access to intelligence reporting most Americans don’t have, regarded the threat of terrorist infiltration as quite real,” wrote Bensman, now with the Center for Immigration Studies.
And just a few slipping in, as with the 9/11 attackers, could be catastrophic.
“Despite comparatively small numbers, the potential consequences of attack from that pathway are high and society-changing,” he wrote.
Today, the Center for Immigration Studies is hosting a 1 p.m. online panel to discuss the book and situation at the border where Bensman has spent time this month.
His book is being released this week as President Biden is reversing the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration by implementing existing law that the former Obama administration simply ignored.
That raises the possibility that terrorists will again hide in the waves of illegal immigrants crossing the border.
In an interview with Secrets, former acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan raised concerns about terrorists and cartels mixing in with those the new administration plans to let in.
“We saw the cartels and smuggling operations use families and kids as a tactic to distract Border Patrol agents. They would send a family and a small group across knowing that resources would go there to process them and care for them,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the criminals and drugs went across the border right behind them. Now, that’s exactly what is already happening,” he said as some 3,500 are now surging the border since Biden signaled an open-door policy.