Saturday, July 31, 2010
Terror threat and the border
Looming threat from illegals: terror
By BRIGITTE GABRIEL
Last Updated: 10:01 AM, July 30, 2010
Posted: 12:01 AM, July 30, 2010
Arizonans will be grateful for some extra help from the National Guard, starting Sunday, in protecting the border and fighting drug violence -- especially now that a federal judge has blocked key parts of their recent illegal-immigration law. But there's a more pressing border issue that goes beyond Arizona: the alliance between drug cartels and groups that aim to smuggle terrorists into our country through the Mexican border.
Last week's detonation along the Texas-Mexico border of an Improvised Explosive Device similar to those used in Iraq and Afghanistan strongly suggests that Hezbollah is working with the drug cartels -- and that America is unsafe. Law-enforcement officials and intelligence analysts believe that terrorist groups like al Qaeda have been working with such gangs as the ruthless MS-13 to smuggle terrorists into America.
Intel briefings and other sources suggest that al Qaeda spends as much as $50,000 to smuggle in a single terrorist, while Hezbollah, funded by Iran, pays as much as $10,000.
Indeed, some analysts estimate that thousands of terrorists have already been smuggled into the United States through the Mexican border since 9/11. Last year, a worker at the Mexican embassy in Beirut was caught selling visas to enter Mexico for $3,000 apiece. Hezbollah terrorists know that once they get to Mexico they can make their way here through our southern border.
A congressional report on homeland security acknowledges this threat. The report, "A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border," addresses the alarming rate at which the number of aliens referred to as "other than Mexican," or OTMs, are crossing the border. Many OTMs are nationals and terrorists from countries such as Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Our biggest threat is that a nuclear, dirty or biological bomb could be smuggled by OTMs into America soon.
Hezbollah, the most sophisticated terrorist organization today, trains al Qaeda members in centers in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley before they leave for terror destinations via Syria, my sources there report. The organization manufactures IEDs in Lebanon and has perfected their use since the 1980s.
An alliance between the drug cartels and Hezbollah is a symbiotic, win-win situation for both parties. Hezbollah can share its expertise in tunnel-engineering and bomb-making with the drug cartels. The cartels can then smuggle dealers and drugs through these tunnels, several of which have been discovered in recent years, while Hezbollah smuggles terrorists and munitions to be used in terror missions in America.
Hezbollah is Iran's proxy army and is trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. As Iran and America head into a confrontation over Iran's nuclear program, Iran must ensure it has sufficient operatives in America to retaliate when the time comes, and this alliance provides the means to get them here. That time is coming faster than we think.
Intelligence analysts think Hezbollah has at least 11 cells in America, including one in New York City. If provoked, perhaps via an Israeli strike, it is likely Iran will retaliate not only against Israel but against its strongest ally.
Our border-security crisis extends beyond illegal workers and employers looking for cheap labor. A suitcase bomb or biological bomb detonated in any major city in America would kill untold numbers of civilians and wreak havoc on our economy. Health care, prison housing and other costs for illegal immigrants would ultimately pale in comparison to such devastation.
Terrorists now have operational centers all over South America. They're learning Spanish and obtaining fake Spanish papers in case they're caught crossing over the Mexican border. The Tri-Border region of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay in South America has become a haven for international Islamic extremists. A State Department report notes that Hezbollah and other terrorist groups were using bases in Latin America to "raise millions of dollars annually via criminal enterprises."
Americans must put politics aside and act now to secure the Mexican border. Arizona families are in need of protection from the drug violence, but we must protect the millions of Americans living in major cities who are threatened by a suitcase bomb or the like smuggled through the Mexican border.
The time for bickering is over.
Terrorism analyst Brigitte Gabriel, author of "Because They Hate," is president of ACTforAmerica.org.