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Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
A U.S. senator says he’s been shown “anecdotal evidence” suggesting an Arabic presence along the U.S.-Mexico border, noting the Bush administration has not publicly released the information because it is “a matter of intelligence.”
Human Events reported that Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship, has seen beverage boxes with Arabic language and other items, including the image of a commercial airliner striking a building.
Cornyn, who is working with other senators to craft legislation that supports President Bush’s proposed guest-worker program but adds stricter border and worksite enforcement measures, also told the magazine he thought it plausible that terrorists could easily find their way into the United States because of large, isolated and rural gaps in America’s southwest border region.
“The message that America wants to hear, and the message that America needs, is security,” Cornyn told the magazine. “We’re seeing that now, not just in places like Texas and border states, but also across the nation. People realize instinctively in a post-9/11 world that we have to know who is coming into our country and why they are here. We have no confidence of that now.”
Saying he had “no information” as to whether members of the al Qaida terrorist organization, or other similar groups, had already infiltrated through the U.S.-Mexico border, Cornyn said such an undertaking would be “easy to do.”
“To me, it’s just obvious, because if you have an open door for someone to walk through, why would you climb over the wall. I think, essentially, our border in between our points of entry are – it’s the wild, wild West,” he told Human Events.
In January, the discovery in Texas of a jacket featuring an Arabic military badge and an airplane headed toward a tower with the words “Midnight Mission” fueled fears of a possible connection to terrorism.
Patch depicting plane flying toward tower with words ‘Midnight Mission’
Earlier this month WorldNetDaily reported that U.S. Rep. John A. Culberson, also a Texas Republican, says there has been an increase in apprehensions of so-called “special interest aliens,” or SIAs, along the border – many from countries where al-Qaida is known to operate.
In testimony Nov. 10 before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims, Culberson – a member of the congressional Immigration Reform Caucus headed by Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo – told the panel, “I am particularly concerned that aliens from countries such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Indonesia and the Sudan are entering our country illegally.”
He went on to tell members he questioned FBI Director Robert Mueller Jr. during a hearing before the House Science, State, Justice, Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee in March and asked him specifically “about SIAs entering the United States across the southern border.”
“… He testified under oath that this was in fact occurring,” Culberson said, according to his testimony transcript, a copy of which was obtained by WND. “Specifically, [Mueller] stated that ‘[t]he FBI has received reports that individuals from countries with known al-Qaida connections have attempted to enter the U.S. illegally using alien smuggling rings and assuming Hispanic appearances. An FBI investigation into these reports continues.'”
During a visit to the border in October, Culberson said he “met with a number of sheriffs from the counties along the border” who then “briefed me in detail on several cases involving terrorist activity, narco-terrorist activity, violent gangs such as MS-13 and the increased violence in their counties.”
After returning to Washington, he said he had spoken with a number of colleagues, sharing “stories and pictures.”
“I was not surprised to hear that many of them said they felt safer during trips to Iraq than they would have in a pickup truck on our southern border,” Culberson told the House panel.
Another member of Congress, Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., told the Charlotte Observer newspaper earlier this month U.S. authorities had detained al-Qaida operatives along the southwestern border, but a spokesman from her office later retracted those comments.
“It turns out she was reading information from the previous year,” Myrick spokesman Andy Polk told WND. ” There is no threat to the border from al-Qaida that we know of, or anything like that.”