Other terrorist operatives are known to have successfully crossed the border:
- In February 2001, Mahmoud Kourani crossed the border from Tijuana in the trunk of a car, eventually settling in Dearborn, Michigan. Kourani, who federal prosecutors claimed had received training in weapons, intelligence, and spy craft in Iran, bribed a Mexican embassy official in Beirut to obtain a visa. Kourani’s brother is known to be Hezbollah’s security chief in southern Lebanon.
- In December 2002, Salim Boughader was arrested for smuggling 200 Lebanese, including Hezbollah operatives, across the border. Boughader had previously worked for Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV satellite network.
- In July 2004, Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed was arrested at a Texas airport boarding a flight to New York. According to the Washington Post, she was connected to a Pakistani terrorist group. Believed to be ferrying instructions to U.S.-based al-Qaeda operatives, authorities issued a terror alert for Washington D.C., New York, and New Jersey.
- In January 2005, two Hamas operatives, Mahmoud Khalil and Ziad Saleh, were arrested as part of a criminal enterprise in Los Angeles. Both had entered the U.S. after paying a smuggler $10,000 each to take them across the border.
- Rep. John Culberson said in November 2005 that an Iraqi al-Qaeda operative on the terror watch list was captured living near the Mexico-Texas border.
During our testimony before the Arizona legislature on Wednesday, Lt. Col. Myers will be discussing the nexus between the South American drug cartels and Islamic terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda. With cartel violence already spilling across the border, and U.S. Border Patrol agents armed with beanbags being gunned down in the field by smuggling operatives, when might we see terrorist groups attempting to open up a new front against the U.S. across the vast stretches of our unguarded border?
Today we will be discussing what states might be able to do to confront this problem in the absence of federal attention to the border and exactly who might be on our side of the border ready to help terrorist groups. As DOJ has admitted in the Dhakane case, terrorist operatives are already inside the U.S. and are prepared to go operational at the command of their leadership. If the issue of homegrown terrorism is already keeping Attorney General Eric Holder awake at night, why aren’t similar concerns being translated into action to defend Americans from cross-border terror threats?