Tags: Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | Immigration | ISIS/Islamic State | Mexico | War on Terrorism | Gary Painter

Texas Sheriff to Newsmax: ISIS May Be Entering US From Mexico

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 11:16 PM

Law enforcement agencies along the U.S. border have received "an intelligence report" warning that members of the Islamic State (ISIS) may be crossing into the country from Mexico, a Texas sheriff told Newsmax on Tuesday.

"It was an intelligence release that was sent to the border sheriffs and law enforcement officers along the border to be careful, that there were ISIS individuals in Juárez," said Gary Painter, sheriff of Midland County.

Formally known as Ciudad Juárez, the city is in the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, across from El Paso, Texas.

The sheriff said the report indicated that Islamic State cells "were operating — and that they anticipated that they would be trying to cross, and to be extremely careful and to watch what was going on."

Painter, who has been sheriff since January 1985, said the report did not come from the Obama administration or any other federal agency. It was from "a group that I regularly get intelligence from, and I know it to be a truthful organization."

He declined to be more specific. "I wouldn't call it private, but it's sure not federal," he added. "It was law-enforcement-sensitive at the time."

Situated in west-central Texas, Midland County is about 250 miles north of the Mexican border and is halfway between El Paso and Fort Worth. Midland is the county seat, and Interstate 20 runs through the area.

Painter is former president of the Sheriff's Association of Texas, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reports.

While Painter said he had no evidence that any ISIS members had been arrested in the county or at the border so far, he does know that Muslims have been apprehended in his area along I-20 over the past two years.

"Their pictures have been taken or evidence has been passed on by Border Patrol" that has been found along "trails by people who are smuggled into the United States, into the state of Texas" including "copies of the Quran and several articles of clothing that appeared to have belonged to Muslims," Painter said.

"We know that Muslims were being smuggled through," he told Newsmax. "We do not know what their intent was. Certainly, we didn't know anything about ISIS back then. We have no idea what their intent was."

He added that as many as 15 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border since then.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry warned last month that Islamic State militants may have crossed a "porous" border between the United States and Mexico. Perry, a Republican who is considering a White House run in 2016, called for military-style drones and more U.S. troops to secure the border.

So far, ISIS has murdered two American journalists, James Foley, 40, and Steven Sotloff, 31, and British aid worker David Haines, 44. The terrorists posted videos of their beheadings on the Internet.

Painter declined to say specifically what his deputies and other law enforcement officials were doing in stepping-up their efforts in light of the ISIS intelligence report.

"We're just much more careful about making stops, making contact with people along the border, or who is coming from the border area," he said. "We're just a lot more careful."

The FBI declined to comment on Painter's comments, the Reporter-Telegram reports.

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Law enforcement agencies along the U.S. border have received "an intelligence report" warning that members of the Islamic State (ISIS) may be crossing into the country from Mexico, a Texas sheriff told Newsmax on Tuesday.
Gary Painter, border, Muslims, intelligence
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2014-16-16
Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 11:16 PM
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