WASHINGTON – An aide to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and the government watchdog group Judicial Watch strongly disputed a statement by a government official that there is “no credible information that a terrorist has crossed or will cross” the border between Texas and Mexico.
Texas Public Safety Director Steve McCraw made that claim during a hearing before the Texas Legislature Thursday.
Hunter aide Joe Kasper told WND, “In all due respect to Mr. McCraw, he’s wrong – flat out wrong. His statement that he has no credible information is absolutely confounding. But to speak candidly, if we are looking to determine what’s really happening along the border, we have not and don’t intend on asking Mr. McCraw.”
Kasper noted, by the Department of Homeland Security’s own admission, an estimated 150,000 illegal border-crossers eluded apprehension in the last fiscal year without any knowledge by the DHS of where they went or where they came from, “So for him to say he knows who is entering and who isn’t – he must have some magic power that nobody else has.”
As for McCraw’s claim there is no information terrorists will enter the country, Chris Farrell, director of investigations for Judicial Watch, told WND, “Given that they (DHS) only apprehend a third of all those crossing, how would they ever know? They don’t even know who’s in the country. How can they possibly ever make a statement like that? How can they make a statement about who’s here and who isn’t?”
Farrell called McCraw’s statement “simply false” and noted Judicial Watch has published a wealth of material documenting how terrorists have already crossed the Texas border repeatedly.
He pointed to a 2009 bomb plot hatched in El Paso, Texas, against Oprah Winfrey and the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) detailed by Judicial Watch just this week.
Two of the plotters have since been jailed for state crimes.
Emad Karakrah is in custody in Cook County, Illinois, for making a false car-bomb threat after leading police on a high-speed chase through Chicago with an ISIS flag flying from his car.
Illegal immigrant Hector Pedroza Huerta is in an El Paso County jail after a third drunken-driving charge. While he has pleaded guilty to immigration charges, Judicial Watch said it was unclear why Huerta and Karakrah are not facing federal conspiracy charges for the bomb plot.
Worse yet, Farrell told WND two plotters currently at-large, Jaber Elbaneh and Adnana Gulshair el Shukrjumah, are on the FBI’s most-wanted list, yet, “Those two bad guys have been in and out of this country practically at will,” and “The FBI has known about this since 2009, and they’ve done nothing.”
Farrell said Shukrijumah, who goes by the alias Javier Robles, flies in and out of the country in small aircraft, landing in rural airstrips in the El Paso area.
The two planned the bomb attack in El Paso and the nearby town of Anthony, New Mexico, in 2009 and as late as the spring of 2014, according Farrell.
Judicial Watch said the attack was inspired by hatred of American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Winfrey’s Harpo Studios was targeted because the plotters resented her popularity and power, while the tower was selected due to its landmark status.
On Oct. 5, Judicial Watch broke the story of “a sophisticated narco-terror ring with connections running from El Paso to Chicago to New York City” involving Karakrah, who, sources said, was “a logistics and transportation operative for militant Islamists in the United States.”
Karakrah, allegedly, was “also a former FBI confidential informant who has gone rogue.” A convicted child molester, law enforcement sources called Karakrah a “dangerous, crazy thug.”
Judicial Watch reported the arrests of Karakrah and Huerta exposed “the nexus of Islamic terror and drug cartel trafficking operating from El Paso” a city that, ironically, “[I]n the last four years has been nationally recognized for having the ‘lowest crime rate ranking’ among municipalities with populations over 500,000.”
The issue of terrorists crossing the border is even more crucial right now because conservative lawmakers are trying to push House Speaker John Boehner into making an effective fight against President Obama’s order to grant amnesty to as many as five million illegal immigrants.
Kasper pointed to a letter Hunter sent to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday asking why he did not fight a judge’s order to release two foreign nationals with terrorist associations who were apprehended at the Texas border.
The two were among four illegal immigrants with possible terror ties arrested in September this year.
Hunter noted that Johnson told a congressional committee that it was not his preference that the two were released, but pressed the secretary as to whether he challenged the judge’s ruling with any type of legal appeal, “due to the compelling national security interest involved? If not, what prevented DHS from doing so?”
The Border Patrol first identified the immigrants as members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front, a Marxist-Leninist party in Turkey, but one of them later claimed to be with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, a group helping the U.S. fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
But, Hunter pointed out, Joint Terrorism Task Force agents “suspected deception in the subject due to a desire to remain in the country (asylum.)”
The congressman also asked if polygraph and phone record analyses on the incident had been completed.
Hunter caused a stir in October when he said at least 10 men affiliated with terrorist organizations had crossed the U.S. southern border, but DHS denied that.
The congressman said the information came from Border Patrol agents, “folks on the ground,” not DHS officials.
“The question is, is the administration parsing language when they say no actual ISIS fighters – meaning guys in black pajamas with black flags and AK-47s – have gotten across the border?” Hunter told CNN.
He added, “What you have are people from terrorist countries, state sponsors of terrorism, that have in fact gotten across the border.”