Prayer rugs typically used in Islamic worship have been found by ranchers and farmers near the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, suggesting Middle Easterners are penetrating the southern frontier.
The Washington Examiner, reporting from a New Mexico border town, spoke to a rancher who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by cartels.
“There’s a lot of people coming in not just from Mexico,” the rancher said. “People, the general public, just don’t get the terrorist threats of that.
“That’s what’s really scary. You don’t know what’s coming across. We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal. It’s not just Mexican nationals that are coming across.”
The rancher and six other residents of Animus, New Mexico, told the Examiner this week that illegal migrants from places other than Mexico and Central America are arriving.
“I’ve talked to several agents that I trust. There’s not a lot that I do trust, but the ones I do trust, I talk to them,” the rancher told the Examiner during a tour of her property.
“What Border Patrol classifies as OTMs [other than Mexicans] has really increased in the last couple years, but drastically within the last six months. Chinese, Germans, Russians, a lot of Middle Easterners. Those Czechoslovakians they caught over on our neighbor’s just last summer.”
DHS: ‘Thousands of terrorists’
The Examiner said that according to government data, six known or suspected terrorists were caught trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico from Oct. 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018.
But the Trump administration has stated 3,700 people from countries with terrorism problems also have been apprehended at the southern border.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News in an interview this month that DHS has “talked about the thousands — the thousands of terror watch list individuals who traveled through our hemisphere last year.”
“To pretend there’s not a danger on an unsecured border, on an open border, is just ridiculous,” she said. “It belies common sense.”
The Examiner said the U.S. Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection, did not respond to multiple interview requests.
WND reported in June a new 20-mile section of wall on the U.S. border with Mexico was being built in an area “where ISIS cells operate and Juárez Cartel smugglers help terrorists through the desert and across the border,” according to Judicial Watch, citing law-enforcement officials on both sides of the border.
Judicial Watch said an ISIS camp was discovered just a few miles from El Paso. Sources said police had found documents in Arabic and Urdu as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss.
“Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents” during that investigation, Judicial Watch said in a report.
WND reported in May that according to Customs and Border Protection officials, the Laredo sector had apprehended 209 Bangladeshi nationals that year.
“A growing number of illegal aliens from terrorist nations – including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh – have tried to enter the U.S. through Mexico in the last few years,” Judicial Watch said.
One Bangladeshi who had been detained said he arrived in El Paso after traveling from South America to Juarez, Mexico.
“We are especially concerned about the potential for terrorist infiltration across the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly as foreign terrorist fighters depart Syria and Iraq and enter global migration flows,” the report said.