The number of illegal aliens from terrorist nations slipping across the U.S. border has been on the rise in recent years and shows no sign of abating, according to an investigative report citing confidential leaked documents.

When combined with WND’s own findings based on interviews with current and former border agents, the investigation by WSB-TV in Atlanta portrays a border that is more than vulnerable – it’s practically inviting enemy penetration.

The findings come as the top intelligence official in the U.S., James Clapper, revealed in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday that terrorists from the Islamic State or ISIS are clearly using the mass movement of migrants and refugees across continents to infiltrate Western nations.

Clapper said ISIS was likely to attempt attacks on U.S. soil in 2016 and that the group was infiltrating refugees escaping from Iraq and Syria to move across borders.

James Clapper is director of the national security council.

James Clapper is director of national intelligence.

But many of the refugees are not actually Syrians or Iraqis. Legitimate refugees from these nations are joined by Muslim migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and other countries across northern Africa.

ISIS fighters have seized Syrian passport facilities with machines capable of manufacturing passports, CNN reported.

Clapper estimated that so-called “violent extremists” were active in about 40 countries and that more safe havens now exist for terrorists “than at any time in history.”

Clapper said ISIS was “taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow,” adding that they were “pretty skilled at phony passports so they can travel ostensibly as legitimate travelers.”

Reporter on the border

When WSB reporter Aaron Diamant made a trip to the border he had one word to describe what he found – “troubling.”

El Paso, Texas, has for decades been not only a haven for foreign refugees sent to the U.S. by the U.S. State Department and United Nations, but the city is also on the front lines of in fight to keep criminal and terrorist elements from entering across the U.S.-Mexico border. Within the city there are scads of surveillance cameras, miles of high fences, check points and army of agents “keep constant watch,” Diamant reported.

But just eight miles west of of downtown Al Paso the border takes on a different look and feel. The sturdy fences are replaced by a “vehicle barrier” and flimsy barbed wire.

“There’s nothing here,” Victor Manjarrez, a recently retired border sector chief, told Diamant. “You can come up and make a bee line for a warehouse if you’d like.”

He found “countless spots to slip through” along miles of border.

And people are doing exactly that.

Agents have captured more than 546,000 illegal crossers just in the last three years. Those numbers include a growing number of “special interest aliens” or SIAs. These are people from terrorist nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen.

Watch the full WSB-TV report below:

WND has obtained leaked emails from border agents that provide alerts about people from terrorist countries and with potential terrorist ties arriving at Mexican border towns, ready to penetrate the border at any time.

For example, on Oct. 14 of last year, an alert was circulated titled “SITUATIONAL AWARENESS: Ghana National and Two Cuban Nationals May Attempt Entry into U.S.”

The source of the information was the San Diego sector foreign operations branch of U.S. Border Patrol.

It stated:

“SITUATION: On October 14, 2015, San Diego Sector Border Intelligence Center received information that three Ghanaian nationals and two Cuban Nationals arrived at the Tijuana international Airport. SDC FOB believes these individuals may make an entry into the United States, possibly without inspection (unknown location).”

The men agents were notified to be on the lookout for included the following:

abdullah muhammad ghana

Abdullah Muhammed

Abdullah MOHAMMED (Ghana)
AGE: 25
No derogatory Information found on subject

Masjidu Suragu

Masjidu Suragu

Majidu SURAJU (Ghana)
AGE: 25
No derogatory information found on subject

Ahmed Mahzin

Ahmed Mahzin

Ahmed MAHZIN (Ghana)
AGE: 28
No derogatory information found on subject

Jorge Broco MOLINA (Cuba)
AGE: 39
No derogatory information found on subject

Antonio M. Diaz

Antonio M. Diaz

Antonio Machin DIAZ (Cuba)
AGE: 28
No derogatory information found on subject

Another alert came the following day under the headline: “6 Pakistanis, 4 Ghanaians and 1 Togolese at Tijuana Airport.”

That alert read as follows:

“On October 15, 2015, the San Diego Sector Border Intelligence Center received Information from the San Diego Foreign Operations Branch regarding four nationals from Ghana, one national from Togo and six nationals from Pakistan that recently arrived at the Tijuana airport. SDC FOB believes these individuals may attempt to make an entry into the United States, without inspection (unknown location).”

Churches housing illegals

Another email addressed the dire situation at the Presidio, Texas, border patrol station, where the U.S. Border Patrol has apparently  had a difficult time retaining agents.

The station had lost as much as 40 percent its manpower as of late last fall. The email indicates that a local Catholic church was helping the government house the illegals.

“Agents just quit!” said the email. “The (illegal aliens) you will encounter pretty much give up to you….and they are mainly OTM’s which you will process and transport. An example he mentioned….a load(ed) vehicle which he (has) seen on the Mexico side unloaded its 13 passengers and they just walked up to him. He processed them and transported them to ICE a couple hours away, then after ICE was done with them he had to transport them to a Catholic church.”

The federal government keeps a tight lid on all information relative to SIAs, but WBTV got its hands on a leaked document marked “law enforcement sensitive.”

It says it is likely that foreign terrorists are “almost certainly aware” that human smuggling networks are capable of successfully moving people to the U.S. border.

SIA encounters at the Texas sector increased 15 percent during the first nine months of 2014 compared to same period of 2013, according to the documents. And the FBI’s terrorist screening center reported 143 land-border crossing encounters with individuals subject to terrorist watchlists and alerts in Southwest border states between November 2013 and July 2014.

Are the fears justified?

“Yes, absolutely yes,” Manjarrez, the retired border chief, told WSB-TV. “The infrastructure exists to be exploited.”

Among the many examples WSB found of people from terror-sponsoring countries getting through the border, was a June 2014 case involving a Somali man who was a member of the al-Qaid-affiliate al-Shabab. He told federal agents he had been trained in Mogadishu for a suicide bombing. Al-Shabab has also recruited dozens of young Somalis from among the refugee community in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.

Texas has been taking the lead in investing nearly $1 billion in surveillance equipment along its border with Mexico, but the federal government has been slack in this area, WSB reported.

The federal government releases almost no information about the known or suspected terrorists it catches at the border.

Despite the silence, information on a few cases has leaked out and made headlines.

Islamic networks in Atlanta

One such case is that of Adnan Shukrijumah, who Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell described as Al Qaeda’s director of North American operations.

“He had freedom of movement to do essentially what he pleased,” Farrell told Diamant.

Farrell said his sources linked Shukrijumah to an El Paso narco-terrorism ring.

In 2010, the feds indicted Shukrijumah on terror charges for an alleged plot to bomb the New York City subway system.

Shukrijumah spent years on the FBI’s most wanted list. It’s believed he entered the United States by air, possibly an airfield that sits inside a private airport in New Mexico.

Farrell believes Shukrajumah flew in to meet with fellow conspirators in 2010 and 2014.

WSB-TV has already confirmed Shukrijumah spent time in Atlanta in 2001, where Farrell believes he found friendly support networks already in place.

Atlanta has been a major hub for the resettlement of Islamic refugees since the 1990s.

“He would not show up in Atlanta just by chance,” Farrell told WSB. “It raises questions about networks in Atlanta. Who was he in contact with? What is the support structure that helps facilitate not just his movement and his meetings?”

Pakistan’s army launched a raid in 2014 that killed Shukrijumah. But there are others like him, Farrell says.

“The fact is that we have no idea who’s in the country,” he said. “None.”

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