Texas Sheriffs Say Terrorists Entering US from Mexico

Daily News Article   —   Posted on August 21, 2006

(by Kevin Mooney, CNSNews.com) – The chief law enforcement officers of
several Texas counties along the southern U.S. border warn that Arabic-speaking
individuals are learning Spanish and integrating into Mexican culture before
paying smugglers to sneak them into the United States. The Texas Sheriffs’
Border Coalition believes those individuals are likely terrorists and that drug
cartels and some members of the Mexican military are helping them get across the

Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez
of Zapata County, Texas told Cybercast News Service that Iranian currency,
military badges in Arabic, jackets and other clothing are among the items that
have been discovered along the banks of the Rio Grande River. The sheriff also
said there are a substantial number of individuals crossing the southern border
into the U.S. who are not Mexican. He described the individuals in question as
well-funded and able to pay so-called “coyotes” – human smugglers – large sums
of money for help gaining illegal entry into the U.S.

Although many of the
non-Mexican illegal aliens are fluent in Spanish, Gonzalez said they speak with
an accent that is not native.

“It’s clear these people
are coming in for reasons other than employment,” Gonzalez said.

That sentiment is shared
by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.).

“For years, Muslims and
other ‘Special Interest Aliens’ from places other than Mexico have been
streaming into the U.S. across our porous border,” Tancredo told Cybercast News
Service. “These people are not paying $50,000 or more a head just to ‘take jobs
no American will do.’

“Terrorists are working
round the clock to infiltrate the United States,” he added. “Congress and this
administration must address this gaping hole in our national security and they
must do it now.”

Some of the more high
profile pieces of evidence pointing to terrorist infiltration of the U.S. have
been uncovered in Jim Hogg County, Texas, which experiences a high volume of
smuggling activity, according to local law enforcement.

“We see patches on jackets
from countries where we know al Qaeda to be active,” Gonzalez

The patches appear to be
military badges with Arabic lettering. One patch in particular, discovered this
past December, caught the attention of federal homeland security officials,
according to Gonzalez and local officials familiar with the investigation.

Sheriff Wayne Jernigan of
Valverde County, Texas, told members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in
March about one patch that read “midnight mission” and displayed an airplane
flying over a building heading towards a tower. Translators with DHS have said
some of the various phrases and slogans on the items could mean “martyr,” “way
to eternal life,” or “way to immortality.”

Gonzalez told the House
International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism and
Nonproliferation in July that the terrorists are getting smarter.

“To avoid apprehension, we
feel many of these terrorists attempt to blend in with persons of Hispanic
origin when entering the country.” Gonzalez stated. “We feel that terrorists are
already here and continue to enter our country on a daily basis.”

Sheriff Arvin West of
Hudspeth County, Texas, told Cybercast News Service that he believes some
Mexican soldiers are operating in concert with the drug cartels to aid the

“There’s no doubt in my
mind,” he said, “although the Mexican government and our government adamantly
deny it.”

Statistics made available
through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) show more than 40,000 illegal
aliens from countries “Other Than Mexico,” designated as OTMs, were apprehended
by the U.S. Border Patrol in the period ranging from October 2003 to June 2004,
as they attempted to cross the southwestern border. An overview of border
security challenges produced through the office of Texas Gov. Rick Perry
indicates that almost 120,000 OTMs were apprehended while attempting to cross
into the state from January through July 2005.

Local authorities are
particularly concerned about illegal aliens arriving from Special Interest
Countries (SICs) where a radical version of Islam is known to flourish. Perry’s
office cites Iraq, Iran, Indonesia and Bangladesh among those countries. A
Tancredo spokesperson said the list also includes Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

As Cybercast News Service
previously reported an internal audit of DHS that combines the number of illegal
aliens arriving from SICs with the documented instances of illegal aliens
arriving from countries identified as being state sponsors of terrorism (SSTs)
yields a grand total of over 90,000 such illegal aliens who have been
apprehended during the five year period from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year

The border security report
delivered by Perry’s office focuses attention on the “Triborder region” of Latin
America, which spans an area between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

“The Triborder Region is a
focal point of Islamic extremism,” the report states. “Al Qaeda leadership plans
to use criminal alien smuggling organizations to bring terrorist operatives
across the border into the U.S.”

Carlos Espinosa, a press
spokesman for Tancredo, said his office is aware of a training camp in Brazil
that actually teaches people from outside of Latin America how they can
assimilate into the Mexican culture.

“They come up as illegal
aliens and disguise themselves as potential migrant workers,” Espinosa

Reprinted here
with permission from Cybercast News Service. Visit the website at


1.  Name the U.S. states which border Mexico.

2.  a) How many sheriffs of Texas counties along the U.S./Mexico border were quoted for this article?  b) Name the counties.
c) Look at the map of Texas counties here.  What do you notice about the location of these counties?

3.  What warning has the Texas Border Sheriffs’ Coalition given about Arabic-speaking individuals?  Be specific.

4.  Describe the evidence the sheriffs gave to support their assertions.

5.  What are OTMs?  How many OTMs were caught while attempting to cross the border into Texas the first 6 months of 2005?
OPTIONAL: To read the complete testimony of Sheriff Gonzalez (Chairman of the
Texas Border Sheriff’s Coaliton) before the House Judiciary Committee, click here NOTE: This document is in PDF format.

6.  What are SICs?  List all SICs mentioned in the article.

7.  What are SSTs?  How many illegals from SSTs were apprehended trying to sneak into the U.S. between 2001 and 2005?

8.  Why do
terrorists think they can avoid apprehension by blending in with
persons of Hispanic origin?  What do you think should be done about
this terrorist tactic?

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