Why Did the Terrorist Cross the Border?

Published on November 30th, 2015

And what did he do after he entered?
Michael Cutler
November 30, 2015
Front Page Magazine

The obvious short answer to the question that serves as the title for my commentary is, “to carry out an attack.” 

However, unlike football players who need to simply carry the ball into the end zone or baseball players who have to cross home plate in order to score, aliens engaged in terrorism must, after entering, find a way to hide in plain sight as they go about their deadly preparations without being identified and without being interfered with by law enforcement authorities.  Crossing our borders, one way or another, is just the beginning of their efforts to attack us.

The 9/11 Commission referred to this as the embedding tactics of the terrorists.

Terrorists who keep a low profile until they are called into action are known as “sleepers.”  On January 23, 2015 FrontPage Magazine published my article: “Sleeper Cells: The Immigration Component of the Threat.”

It is understandable that the recent terror attacks in Paris and elsewhere have elevated concerns about terror attacks.  The ongoing coverage of the manhunt for terrorists around the world has captured public attention.  Hunting down suspected terrorists requires a two-pronged approach, determining what country the suspect has entered and then digging him/her out of the “woodwork.”  Immigration enforcement can be instrumental in such an effort.

The recent heightened awareness and concerns about the admission of Syrian refugees who cannot be vetted addresses only one of many ways terrorists can enter the United States by embedding themselves in that huge haystack of aliens claiming to be Syrian refugees.

As I have noted in a number of my recent articles, such as my November 12th article for CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization), “Immigration and Terrorism – It’s About More Than Vetting Refugees” and in my November 24th article for FrontPage Magazine, “Entry Without Inspection = Entry Without Vetting: The dire threat to our national security and public safety,” terrorists have a multitude of ways to enter the United States.  Falsely claiming to be a Syrian refugee is only one such method.

The nexus between immigration and terrorism was well established and documented by the 9/11 Commission, yet the reports prepared by that official commission are almost universally ignored by leaders of both political parties, even as the threat of terrorism increases.

The Summer Edition of The Social Contract includes my extensive article, “The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration: An Assessment, Fourteen Years after the Attacks.”

The 9/11 Commission Report addressed and the official companion report prepared by the staff members of the 911 Commission, “9/11 and  Terrorist TravelStaff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” both provided in-depth analysis of  how not only the 9/11 terrorists, but others, traveled around the world and gained entry into the United States in preparation for their deadly attacks.

One of the most potent weapons the United States has in its arsenal to combat international terrorists is one that the administration refuses to use- the routine and effective enforcement of our nation's immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

On April 20, 2015 FrontPage Magazine published my article, “How DHS Ineptitude Facilitates Terrorist Operations » A chilling case-in-point from Ohio.”

For decades the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States has chronically suffered from an extreme shortage of agents and resources and political support.

DHS employs about 7,000 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents and most of them are more concerned with those who produce counterfeit Gucci loafers than counterfeit passports.  To put that number in perspective, the NYPD has more than 35,000 police officers just for the city of New York.

The report, “9/11 and  Terrorist TravelStaff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” provides important information and insight into the entry and embedding tactics of terrorists, yet it is assiduously ignored by political leaders from both political parties.  Indeed,

Current immigration policies of the administration, exacerbated by “Sanctuary Cities” and proposed “fixes” for our “broken” immigration system proposed by leaders of both political parties and nearly all of the candidates for the presidency, fly in the face of the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and its staff of federal agents and federal attorneys.

The emphasis on the U.S./Mexican border to the exclusion of the myriad other dysfunctional components of the immigration system is as duplicitous as it gets. Consider that Page 54 of the report contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot”

Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.

In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.

Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.

Many politicians have proposed that once we secure the U.S./Mexican border millions of illegal aliens, who evaded the vetting process conducted at ports of entry, should be provided with lawful status, even though there would be no way to interview these millions of illegal aliens or conduct field investigations to uncover fraud in their applications.

I am compelled to rhetorically ask, “Are political candidates who are advocates for a massive legalization program for millions of illegal aliens seeking the endorsement and campaign contributions of ISIS and al-Qaeda?”

Page 46 and 47 of the report, noted:

“Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.” Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.

Page 61 contained this passage:

Exploring the Link between Human Smugglers and Terrorists

In July 2001, the CIA warned of a possible link between human smugglers and terrorist
groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
149   Indeed, there is
evidence to suggest that since 1999 human smugglers have facilitated the travel of
terrorists associated with more than a dozen extremist groups.
150  With their global reach and connections to fraudulent document vendors and corrupt government officials, human smugglers clearly have the “credentials” necessary to aid terrorist travel.

This paragraph is found on page 98 under the title “Immigration Benefits:”

Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.

Meanwhile terrorists have been admitted into the United States as tourists, resident aliens and foreign students. On November 12th FrontPage Magazine published my article, “Educating 'Engineers of Jihad' at US Universities: How the legal immigration system allowed four al-Qaeda-linked terrorists to attend U.S. colleges and roam free among us.

Terrorists including one of the Tsarnaev brothers who savagely attacked the Boston Marathon and Faisal Shazhad, the “Time Square Bomber” were granted U.S. citizenship just months before they launched their terror attacks, demonstrating that the legal side of the immigration system is fatally flawed.

The lunacy finally must stop- our immigration laws must finally be brought to bear to protect America and Americans.  It is not “Anti-Immigrant” to enforce these laws- it is simply a matter of commonsense and national security.

As the title of my November 16th article for The Daily Caller notes, “Immigration Law Enforcement: A Vital Component Of National Security And Counterterrorism.”

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