FABENS, TX – The Department of Homeland Security Chief in Texas revealed Islamist terrorists have been arrested crossing in the U.S. from Mexico.
Although officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claim they are unaware of such arrests, Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw claims terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah have been arrested at the border.
The U.S. Border with Mexico is full of wide open spaces with no border fencing and small ports-of-entry where security is perceived to be lax, officials say. This has fueled rumors in the years following the attacks of September 11, 2001 that international terrorist groups are rampant in rural areas south of the border, such as the Mexican town of Caseta across the border from Fabens.
Last year, Houston Congressman John Culberson stated he saw an Al-Qaeda training camp across the border from rural south Texas – a claim that was never substantiated by authorities.
Saul Cordero, a native of Fabens, tells ABC-7 illegal immigration affecting his town has more to do with Mexico than with terrorists from halfway across the world. “I’ve got a lot of faith in our system – Customs and Border Patrol – they tend to be getting the job done,” he said.
Speculation centers around a comment McCraw made in Dallas. While there, he asked and answered his own question. “Has there ever been anyone linked to terrorism arrested,” he asked himself while addressing his audience. “Yes, there was,” he quickly responded.
Despite his assertions, the only confirmed case McCraw was able to point out was the July 2004 arrest of a woman with reported ties to insurgents in Pakistan. She was arrested in the town of McAllen, Texas.
Governor Rick Perry’s office, which McCraw works under, did not elaborate on the comments.
However, as the war in Iraq continues and the security of our border continues to be questioned, rumors about Islamic terrorist crossing into the U.S. from Mexico are likely to persist.
Reported by Martin Bartlett
Written for the web by Joe Villasana