While Americans march against Arizona's new restrictions on unlawful immigration, hundreds of illegal aliens from countries awash in Muslim terrorists tiptoe across the U.S.-Mexican frontier.
New York, N.Y. — According to the federal Enforcement Integrated Database, 125 individuals were apprehended along the border from fiscal year 2009 through April 20, 2010.
These deportable aliens included two Syrians, seven Sudanese, and 17 Iranians, all nationals from the three Islamic countries that the U.S. government officially classifies as state sponsors of terrorism.
Federal authorities also track "special interest countries" from which terrorism could be directed against America. Over the aforementioned period, 99 of those nations' citizens also were nabbed on the border.
They were two Afghans, five Algerians, 13 Iraqis, 10 Lebanese, 22 Nigerians, 28 Pakistanis, two Saudis, 14 Somalis, and three Yemenis. During FY 2007 and FY 2008, federal officials caught 319 people from these same countries traversing America's southwest border.
Some such characters were confined in Arizona, which recently adopted a controversial law that lets cops ask the citizenship status of those they suspect of other possible violations.
WSB-TV recently publicized an April 15, 2010, "population breakdown" of immigrants detained at a facility in Florence, Ariz. Of the 395 males behind bars, 198 were Mexican, 18 hailed from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Perhaps these gentlemen simply want to pursue the American dream.
Worrisome signs suggest, however, that some may have arrived via blistering, cactus-adorned deserts so they could blow Americans to smithereens.
Texas Border Patrol agents discovered, along with Iranian currency and Islamic prayer rugs, an Arabic clothing patch that reads "martyr" and "way to immortality."
Another shows a jet flying into a skyscraper.
"Members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, have already entered the United States across our southwest border," declares "A Line in the Sand," a 2006 report by the House Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee, then-chaired by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
Even more disturbing are the uninvited terrorists and terror suspects that were arrested after entering America through our permeable underbelly:
- Mahmoud Youssef Kourani pleaded guilty in March 2005 to providing material support to terrorists. First, Kourani secured a visa by bribing a Mexican diplomat in Beirut. He and another Middle Easterner then hired a Mexican guide to escort them into America. Finally, Kourani settled in Dearborn, Michigan's Lebanese-immigrant community, and raised cash for Hezbollah.
- Miguel Alfonso Salinas was caught in New Mexico near the international border in 2006. As The Washington Examiner reported, one week of FBI interrogation exposed Salinas as an Egyptian named Ayman Sulmane Kamal. Evidently, he remains in federal custody.
- Then-National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said that in FY 2006 and FY 2007, at least 30 potentially dangerous Iraqis were found trying to penetrate America via Mexico. As McConnell told the El Paso Times: "There are numerous situations where people are alive today because we caught them." — The Department of Homeland Security issued an April 14 intelligence alert regarding a possible border-crossing attempt by a Somali named Mohamed Ali. He is a suspected member of Al-Shabaab, a Somali-based al-Qaida ally tied to the deadly attack on American GIs in 1993's notorious "Blackhawk Down" incident in Mogadishu.
- Captured in Brownsville, Texas, Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane pleaded not guilty on May 14 to federal charges that he "ran a large-scale smuggling enterprise" designed to sneak East Africans through Mexico into Texas, including "several AIAI-affiliated Somalis into the United States." Al-Ittihad Al-Islami is yet another Muslim-extremist organization.
- Daniel Joseph Maldonado also has Somali ties. He was picked up in Somalia in 2007 during terrorist training. He was returned to Houston for prosecution. As Rice University's Joan Neuhas Schaan told KHOU-TV: "They had plans for him to come back to the United States and recruit female suicide bombers."
All this involves only the bad guys who the authorities nailed. Those who have stayed undetected after crossing the border to murder Americans remain, by definition, invisible.
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Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at Deroy.Murdock@gmail.com.