Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Borderâ??

Hi Gang:
On November 15, 2012 a report was issued by Congressman Michael T. McCaul, the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management. 
This report was prepared by the Majority (Republican) members of this important subcommittee and was entitled:
A LINE IN THE SAND: COUNTERING CRIME, VIOLENCE AND TERROR AT THE SOUTHWEST BORDER

Here is a copy of that report:

Here is the press release issued by Rep. McCaul’s office on November 15, 2012 in conjunction with the report:

From: Rosen, Mike 
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 3:02 PM
Subject: McCaul Releases Report Demonstrating Iran/Hezbollah Threat to Southwest Border
 

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 Contact:  Mike Rosen
November 15, 2012                                                                                 512.633.4550
 
 
McCaul Subcommittee Report Connects Dots Between Iran, Hezbollah and Mexican Drug Cartels
Underscores Terrorist Threat to the Southwest Border
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the Homeland Security Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, today released the report “A Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border“, an assessment of the threat from drug cartels and terrorist organizations.  
 
While the original Line in the Sand report in 2006 focused primarily on Mexican drug cartel activity, this report connects the dots between Iran and Hezbollah’s growing presence in Latin America, and their recently documented nexus with Mexican drug cartels.  The Subcommittee believes this underscores a threat that is not fully on the radar of this administration.  
 
The Subcommittee believes the presence of Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America represents a strategic migration to position terrorist operations within striking distance of the United States.  If Iran is provoked, the report asserts Hezbollah finance cells in Latin America will have the ability to turn operational.
 
The report cites the central criticism of the 9/11 Commission was our failure to connect thedots and to use our imagination when assessing the threat landscape.  This report is an attempt to be pro-active and not reactive. 
 
NOTE: The report is the subject of an Oversight & Investigations hearing tomorrow.        
           Friday, Nov. 16, 9:00am, 311 Cannon
           Live Web Stream (Internet Explorer preferred) 
 
 
# # #
 
 
 
 
Mike Rosen
Communications Director
Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10)
512.633.4550 m
512.473.2357 Austin
202.225.2401 DC
http://mccaul.house.gov
Chairman, Homeland Security Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee
 

The information contained in the report should be read by every member of the administration including President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano.  It should be read by every member of Congress and by every political leader in cities and states across the United States especially those who believe it is appropriate to shield illegal aliens from detection by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
On March 22, 2012 I wrote a commentary that was entitled:
Peter King: Iran May Have ‘Hundreds’ Of Hezbollah Agents In U.S.”

I “borrowed” the title for my report from a Huffington Post report to which I provided a link, in my commentary, to use as a starting point for my commentary.

I have attached a copy of this commentary to the bottom of this e-mail.
My commentary dovetails with the findings and recommendations of the report noted above. 
The bottom line that must be understood by all is that our borders and enforcement of the immigration laws are critical- indeed, indispensable, components of national security.  Nothing could be more important in this era where the Damoclean threats of international terrorism and increasing presence of transnational gangs in cities and states across the United States hang over the heads of all Americans!
Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts nearly every challenge and threat confronting the United States today!

If our government’s failures to protect American jobs by securing our nation’s borders and effectively enforcing our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

If you like this commentary, kindly forward it to as many folks as you can and ask them to do the same- I am attempting to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 



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Peter King: Iran May Have ‘Hundreds’ Of Hezbollah Agents In U.S.”

Michael W. Cutler, Senior Special Agent, INS (Retired)

Senior Fellow, Californians for Population Stabilization


My commentary today will focus on the threats to the security of our nation that the ongoing conflict with Iran poses to the United States and its citizens. Generally my focus is on immigration-related issues and, in fact, the troubling headline above directly relates to the lack of security of our nation’s borders and the abject failures of the federal government to effectively enforce our nation’s immigration laws. That headline appeared yesterday in the Huffington Post article that addressed a hearing that was conducted on March 21, 2012 by the House Committee on Homeland Security that is chaired by Congressman Peter King of New York, that was entitled:

Iran, Hezbollah, and the Threat to the Homeland”

The issue of threats posed to the United States by terrorists from the Middle East is hardly a new threat. In 1993 our nation was attacked on two separate occasions by aliens from the Middle East who carried out deadly attacks on American soil.

In January 1993 a Pakistani national by the name of Mir Kansi stood outside CIA Headquarters with an AK-47 and opened fire on the vehicles of CIA officials reporting for work on that cold January morning in Virginia.  When the smoke dissipated, two CIA officer lay dead and three other were seriously wounded.  Kansi fled the United States and was ultimately brought back to stand trial.  He was found guilty and executed for his crimes.  He had also been granted political asylum and had been subsequently found to have lied on his application, thereby committing a felony, fraud. Had the fraud been detected and had he been deported from the United States, those who were killed and wounded would not have been harmed.

Just one month later, on February 26, 1993 a bomb-laden truck was parked in the garage under the World Trade Center complex and detonated. The blast nearly brought one of the 110 story towers down sideways. As a result of the explosion, 6 innocent people were killed, hundreds were injured and an estimated one half billion dollars in damages were inflicted on that iconic complex of buildings located just blocks from Wall Street. That attack was also carried out by alien terrorists who managed to not only game the visa process in order to enter the United States but the immigration benefits program that enabled them to remain in the United States and embed themselves as they went about their preparations to carry out that attack.

On May 20, 1997 I participated in my first Congressional hearing. That hearing was conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims and was entitled:

VISA FRAUD AND IMMIGRATION BENEFITS APPLICATION FRAUD

That hearing was called specifically because of those two terrorist attacks that had been carried out more than four years previously.

The 9/11 Commission found that of 94 terrorists who were identified as operating in our country in the decade leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, some 59 or roughly two thirds of them were found to have committed immigration fraud to enter our country and/or embed themselves in our country.

Clearly the nexus between failures of the immigration system have been linked to previous terrorist attacks and yet the vulnerabilities remain.

Currently the United States continues to face the potential of terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, but where the Iranian situation is concerned, Hezbollah is believed to pose the threat.

This sobering assessment was the focus of the Homeland Security Committee hearing that is the predication for my commentary. Here is a quote from the Huffington Post article:

“As Iran moves closer to nuclear weapons and there is increasing concern over war between Iran and Israel, we must also focus on Iran’s secret operatives and their number one terrorist proxy force, Hezbollah, which we know is in America,” said New York Rep. Peter King at a Wednesday hearing of his committee.

The hearing, which featured former government officials and the director of intelligence analysis for the New York Police Department, follows a foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C., and testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in late January that Iran’s leaders are “more willing to conduct an attack inside the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime.”

While most of the individuals who have been found carrying out what appears to have been surveillance of a pre-operations nature were determined to be Iranian government officials, there are only a relative handful of such officials who are present in the United States at any given time. Therefore it is important to “connect the dots.”

On February 10, 2012 I posted a commentary on my website that explained my concerns about the potential that a growing number of Iranian shock troops (Cudz) that are stationed in Venezuela could be called into action and have them surreptitiously cross the U.S./Mexican border if an when the Iranian government decided to attack strategic targets inside the United States.

My commentary was based on a number of factors, beginning with statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who threatened to attack the United States even if an attack was launched against his country’s nuclear program by Israel and not the United States. These threats were widely reported in the news media including ABC News which posted a report that was entitled:

Exclusive: Israel Warns US Jews: Iran Could Strike Here.”

Going back a bit further, on April 21, 2010 the Washington Times published a report entitled:

Iran boosts Qods shock troops in Venezuela”

That news report, in fact, was based on a report that had been issued by the Pentagon about the apparent growing threat posed by those Iranian shock troops being hosted by Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chavez, a Latin American leader who is certainly no ally of the United States! Give this possibility, indeed, probability some thought:

I can tell you, based on my 30 years of experience with the INS, that it is impossible to sit across the table from a person and be certain as to their true identities or even nationality. Iranians shock troops who live in Venezuela for a number of years, immersing themselves in the Spanish language and culture of Latin America could easily run our porous border and take a mundane job while they await a message from Iran telling calling them to action against the United States. The easiest way for a terrorist to hide in plain sight or, to use the jargon of the 9/11 Commission, embed himself in a country, is to take a routine job, preferably a job that provides camouflage and mobility, such as a limo driver, an ice cream truck driver, a cab driver or a school bus driver.

In point of fact, the day before a terrorist participates in an attack, he is likely to go to his job where he has worked for months or longer, hiding in plain sight among his intended victims!

This is not the end of the bad news, either!

It is widely acknowledged that there are terrorist training camps located in the Tri-Border region of Brazil. It is believed that among the terrorist groups that operate in that dangerous region of Brazil are Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Hamas. Yet, on January 19, 2012 President Obama gave a speech at Disney World in which he called for streamlining the process by which visas are issued to aliens from China and Brazil saying that his goal was to cut the waiting time for visas by 40%. He also called for increasing the number of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program from the current 36 countries. There is an inverse proportion between speed and accuracy, the faster a task must be accomplished, the more likely that errors will be made. Errors in this process can permit criminals and terrorists to have access to our nation.

That analogy also applies to State Department’s consular officers who decide on whether or not to issue visas to foreign visitors. Now apparently there will be even more pressure brought to bear to move the applications at warp speed!

Not long ago I compared the plight of adjudications officers of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) who were attempting to keep up with the growing backlog of applications for immigration benefits including United States citizenship with compare the plight of these USCIS Adjudications Officers with the plight of Lucille and her side kick, Ethel in that old television sitcom “I Love Lucy” when they get a job at a candy factory and they are given the job of wrapping morsels of candy that are delivered on the conveyor belt. At first they are able to do the job quite well and then the conveyor belt begins to pick up speed. No matter how fast they work, they cannot keep up. They begin eating some of the bonbons and then they try stuffing them down their clothes but to no avail as the candy on the belt hurtles at them at warp speed.

While it certainly makes sense to attract more tourists it must never be done at the expense of our laws or our security. It is currently officially estimated that there are sum five million illegal aliens in our country who did not run our nation’s borders but entered the United States through ports of entry and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission into the United States.

On May 11, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations on the topic:

“VISA OVERSTAYS:CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?”

According to recently published reports, there are fewer than 300 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents assigned to locate and apprehend illegal aliens who violated the terms of their admission into the United States.

In May, 2010 I was interviewed by CNN’s Casey Wian for a report that was titled, “Tracking Down Visa Violators.”

On May 10, 2010 I was interviewed by Daniel Gonzalez, a reporter with the Arizona Republic for an news report titled, “U.S. not cracking down on immigrants with expired visas.”

The problem is that most of the terrorists who have attacked our nation or sought to attack our nation were admitted into the United States and although they all committed visa fraud when they secured their visas and a number of them overstayed their authorized period of admission, nothing was done to take them into custody and nothing of consequence has been done to plug this gaping hole in the system.

Finally, it is important to understand why it is wrong-headed to have a Visa Waiver Program at all, let alone seek to expand it beyond the current 36 participating countries.

On July 12, 2011 I wrote a commentary for the CAPS website that detailed the benefits that the visa requirement provides to enhance national security. That commentary was entitled:

Visa Waiver Program Endangers our Safety and Security

The time has come for our government to try a novel approach- connect the dots and take appropriate actions before there is another terrorist attack!


 

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