WASHINGTON – The U.S. government is warning a terrorist attack is imminent on the border between Texas and Mexico, according to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
The group said its sources say the Mideast terrorist army ISIS is now operating in the Mexican city of Juarez, the narcotics-trafficking center just across the border from El Paso, Texas. ISIS, the sources say, is planning to attack the U.S. with car bombs or improvised explosive devices carried by vehicles.
Judicial Watch said high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border was issued. The organization said agents for the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security have been put on alert and told to aggressively work all sources and potential leads.
One source told Judicial Watch intelligence officials “picked up radio talk and chatter” pointing to an attack on the border.
The source said both ISIS and al-Qaida were planning plots and told Judicial Watch an attack “is coming very soon.”
Another source told the group the attack is so imminent the commanding general at the U.S. Army’s Fort Bliss in El Paso is being briefed.
A Texas law enforcement bulletin sent out this week reportedly shows ISIS is keenly aware of the porous border in the area, and social media chatter shows it has expressed “an increased interest” in crossing the border to conduct an attack.
The three-page bulletin, obtained by Fox News, was titled “ISIS Interest on the US Southwest Border” and distributed to law enforcement Thursday.
The bulletin coincides with WND’s report three days ago that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security were so worried airstrikes in Iraq could cause ISIS to retaliate in American, the agencies sent warnings to local law enforcement officials.
Friday’s reported threat from ISIS comes a day after WND reported President Obama acknowledged he has no strategy to deal with the terrorist army.
Obama was blasted for the admission.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the strategy should be simply “to finish them off.”
“Not to contain them … but to fundamentally finish them off. And I don’t think the president sees this moment for what it is,” he said.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tweeted: “#ISIS is largest, richest terrorist group in history & 192,000 dead in #Syria.”
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., lamented, “I’m not sure the severity of the problem has really sunk in to the administration just yet.”
However, Rogers said Obama had plenty of warning, because, “Even the president said he was talking about this to Iraqi officials over a year ago.”
He maintained the administration could have attacked ISIS targets long before it gained momentum.
“When a terrorist organization acts like an army, they present military targets the way any other army would do,” Rogers said.
Friday’s threat also comes as Britain has raised its terror-threat level to “severe” ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
A White House spokesman said Friday the U.S. has no plans to raise the threat level.
However, U.S. intelligence sources told WND just last week ISIS was training jihadis to attack targets in the U.S.
Also last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., warned ISIS is “rapidly developing a method of blowing up a major U.S. city.” The ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. Senate said the U.S. now is in “the most dangerous position we’ve ever been in.”
And, as WND also reported last week, Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas warned terrorists from the Islamic State could be sneaking into Texas across the Southwest border at any time, due to the Obama administration’s failures in Iraq and in securing the border.
Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby immediately denied any evidence of Perry’s claims.
“I’ve seen no indication that they are coming across the border with Mexico. We have no information that leads us to believe that. That said, we do know they have aspirations to hit Western targets and that we’ve got to take that seriously and have to try to be ready for it,” Kirby told CNN.
Mexican officials also quickly rejected the governor’s warnings.
“Mexican authorities have no record of the presence of Islamist extremist groups or individuals in Mexico,” said Ariel Moutsatsos, minister for public affairs at the embassy in Washington. “We take all possible measures to impede any terrorist activity in our territory.”
But Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, backed-up Perry’s warning of terror threats from the largely unsecured U.S.-Mexico border.
“The FBI director previously said … that there were people from terrorist countries who were assuming Hispanic names, and learning a few words of Spanish, and coming in,” Gohmert said. “The FBI director himself testified to that before Congress. So we know that this kind of thing has been going on. Gov. Perry isn’t saying anything that’s new, it just takes a little while for the mainstream to catch up.”
The congressman added that more recently, Marine Gen. John Kelly, the commander of South Command, testified before the House and Senate this year “that the penetration of our Southern border by criminal cartels, as well as terrorist organizations, poses, in his words, an ‘existential threat the United States.’”
Just two days ago, an terrorism expert who advises the Iraqi intelligence services said there are 100,000 ISIS recruits, much higher than the 20,000-to-30,000 estimated by most foreign observers.
Hisham al-Hashimi also said the number of recruits is growing rapidly, because ISIS “is an extension of groups that existed before – historically and ideologically.”
He said recruitment has never been easier, because the organization’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, “carries now the flag of the jihadi against the crusader.”
Another intelligence officer, Ibrahim al-Sumaidei, gave another reason for the rise of ISIS, saying its “members have multiplied in a very dangerous way.”
“Having plenty of arms and funding has made the Islamic State swallow the fighters of the other Sunni insurgent groups.”
And ISIS’ firepower is growing.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported ISIS fighters had stormed a Syrian airbase over the weekend and captured a stockpile of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles.
The missiles, known as MANPADS, or Man Portable Air Defense Systems, are highly advanced and can hit aircraft flying at up to 20,000 feet.
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