Sunni extremists are infiltrating the United States with the help of alien smugglers in South America and are crossing U.S. borders with ease, according to a U.S. South Command intelligence report.
Southcom’s J-2 intelligence directorate reported recently in internal channels that “special interest aliens” are working with a known alien smuggling network in Latin America to reach the United States. The smuggling network was not identified.
Army Col. Lisa A. Garcia, a Southcom spokeswoman, did not address the intelligence report directly but said Sunni terrorist infiltration is a security concern.
“Networks that specialize in smuggling individuals from regions of terrorist concern, mainly from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, the Middle East, and East Africa, are indeed a concern for Southcom and other interagency security partners who support our country’s national security,” Garcia said.
“There are major hubs that serve as entry points into the region for migrants from those areas of concern attempting to enter the U.S. along our border with Mexico,” she said.
The infiltrators from terrorist states and unstable regions exploit vulnerabilities in commercial transportation systems and immigration enforcement agencies in some of the countries used for transit, Garcia said.
“In 2015, we saw a total of 331,000 migrants enter the southwestern border between the U.S. and Mexico, of that we estimate more than 30,000 of those were from countries of terrorist concern,” she said.
Another problem in dealing with migrants from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia is a lack of information among the governments of the countries used by potential terrorists for transit.
The top American military official in Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) chief Navy Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, recently warned that there are various networks in his area of responsibility that specialize in trafficking illegals into the United States from countries affiliated with terrorism.
U.S. officials are trying to establish closer cooperation with various Latin American nations to combat an increase in the number of illegal migrants from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East attempting to sneak into the United States.
Between October 2015 and May 2016, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), detained 5,350 African and Asian migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to Reuters.
The apprehensions of illegals from Africa and Asia during that period marks an increase from those that took place in all of 2015 (4,261) and 2014 (1,831).
In its report, Reuters highlighted attempted entries into the U.S. by individuals from Pakistan, Syria, and Afghanistan, which the U.S. considers to be terrorism-linked countries.
Most countries considered by the U.S. government to be linked to terrorism are located in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. American border authorities are trying to stop the illegal migrants at the Mexico border with Guatemala, before they reach the United States.
The migrants often fly to Brazil, obtain fake passports there, and are smuggled to Panama before heading through Central America to Mexico’s porous southern border, according to transcripts of 14 interviews conducted at the center and other internal briefing documents seen by Reuters…
The cost of getting into the United States can reach $400 or more per person, and the illegal immigrants are provided with transportation, covert smuggling contacts along routes into the country, as well as instructions on how to illegally cross the U.S. border. The instructions in the past have included armed guides who ferry illegal aliens across U.S.-Mexico border rivers on inner tubes.
U.S. concerns about potential security risks from migrants using the unusual and circuitous southern route have been growing in recent years, following a string of Islamic State-inspired attacks in the West and the surge in Syrian refugees fleeing that country’s civil war.
The exploitation of alien smuggling networks by terrorists until recently had been dismissed by both American security officials and private security experts as largely an urban myth.
However, the Southcom intelligence report revealed that the threat of Islamist terror infiltration is no longer theoretical. “This makes the case for Trump’s wall,” said one American security official of the Southcom report. “These guys are doing whatever they want to get in the country.”