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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Revolutions / Extremism arrow New Jihad Watch: Afghans with fake Mexican passports
New Jihad Watch: Afghans with fake Mexican passports PDF Print E-mail
Written by jihad watch   
Tuesday, 11 March 2008

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Thanks to a generous Hot Air reader who volunteered to edit Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, we’ve got a new installment of the series for you. Robert takes a closer look at the three Afghanis caught in India with forged Mexican passports.

 

 

 

 

Robert Spencer - Jihad Watch March 10, 2008

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National Security At the Border

From the general level of concern exhibited in official Washington after other evidence of jihadist attempts to cross into the U.S. from Mexico, one might reasonably assume that nothing more worrisome than mariachi is going on. But in the real world, this incident is yet another indication of the national security aspect of the immigration issue.

The warnings have been coming in for years. In June 2004, border patrol agents arrested 77 “Middle Eastern” men attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D-Tex.) said that such attempts are “happening all over the place. It’s very, very scary.” In October of that year, intelligence officials began investigating allegations that 25 nationals from another hotbed of jihad, Chechnya, had crossed into the country across the Arizona border. And the next month, a captured Egyptian jihadist named Sharif al-Masri told interrogators about Al-Qaeda’s plans to “smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico,” where “operatives would carry material into the U.S.” A Bangladeshi Muslim, Fakhrul Islam, was arrested in December 2004 while trying to cross into Texas from Mexico. With him were members of the Central American Mara Salvatruchas gang, which some officials allege has ties to Al-Qaeda. 

In June 2005, the FBI uncovered an operation dedicated to smuggling Iranians into the United States from Mexico. Five months later, Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC) said: “They just arrested, down on the border, a couple of weeks ago, three al-Qaeda members who came across from Mexico into the United States.” And in December of that year, immigration crusader Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) revealed that 51 illegal immigrants were arrested on terror-related charges between October 2004 and December 2005. In November 2007, the FBI issued an advisory about a plan by jihadists in league with Mexican drug lords to cross the border via underground tunnels and attack the intelligence training center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, twenty miles from the border with Mexico. “The Afghanis and Iraqis,” one official explained, paid the Mexicans $20,000 or “the equivalent in weapons” for their help in getting into the U.S., and “shaved their beards so as not to appear to be Middle Easterners.”

If all this isn’t an argument for border security, what is? Perhaps the most curious aspect of these stories that are two and three years old is that they didn’t get national attention, and didn’t result in genuine action to secure our borders. But with the latest incident in India, McCain, Hillary, and Obama should be asked pointed questions about their immigration policies, and asked to go beyond the dismissal of immigration controls as “racism” to address the genuine national security issues involved in the continued porous state of our southern border.

There is no way to estimate how many jihadists may already have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. But the time to play politics with the border issue is long past. The shallow sloganeering and race-baiting that have dominated the national debate about border controls should be recognized as what they are: hindrances to sane and sensible national defense measures.

Why should we stand idle while those who have vowed to destroy us cross the border with relative impunity? And why isn’t such a question being asked of our presidential candidates at every stop they make on the hustings?

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25065


Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)" , "The Truth About Muhammad" and "Religion of Peace?" (all from Regnery -- a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

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Arab terrorists 'are getting into the US over Mexican border'
By Julian Coman in Washington
Last Updated: 12:10am BST 15/08/2004

President Bush has launched a drive to halt illegal immigration across America's porous southern border, amid growing fears that terrorists may be using Mexico as a base camp before heading to Arizona, Texas and California.

A string of alarming incidents has convinced Bush administration officials that lax immigration rules, designed to cope with the huge numbers of illegal entrants from Mexico, have become a significant loophole in the war on terror.

Over the past month, border agents from Arizona and Texas have anonymously reported recent encounters with dozens of Arab men, who have made their way across the 2,000-mile Mexican border.

Patrol agents told one Arizona newspaper that 77 males "of Middle Eastern descent" were apprehended in June in two separate incidents. All were trekking through the Chiricahua mountains and are believed to have been part of a larger group of illegal immigrants. Many were released pending immigration hearings. According to Solomon Ortiz, the Congressman for Corpus Christi in Texas, similar incidents are "happening all over the place. It's very, very scary".

The two groups of Arab males were discovered by patrol guards from Willcox, Arizona. "These guys didn't speak Spanish," said one field agent, "and they were speaking to each other in Arabic. It's ridiculous that we don't take this more seriously. We're told not to say a thing to the media." A colleague told the paper: "All the men had brand-new clothing and the exact same cut of moustache." Local ranchers have also reported a rise in the sightings of large groups of young males.

Last month, border patrol agents at McAllen airport, Texas, arrested a woman believed to be Pakistani, who was carrying a false South African passport. The woman, Farida Ahmed, is still being questioned by the FBI. She was travelling to New York, and admitted to having illegally crossed the Mexican border. She was still carrying a pair of wet jeans in her travel bag.

More than 1.2 million people attempt to cross US borders illegally each year. The vast majority are Mexicans who are immediately repatriated. But under existing laws, which take account limited detention facilities, many non-Mexican illegal immigrants are released prior to a hearing with an immigration judge, which most fail to attend. Almost 22,000 non-Mexican immigrants have been released pending a hearing since last October. Once released, they are free to travel on their own throughout the United States. According to one Texas immigration official, those who slip through the net come "from all over the world".

"If you want to enter the US illegally," said the official, "the way to do it is to get to Mexico first." The possibility of a southern border loophole for potential terrorists was recognised as early as last year. In testimony before Congress, Steve McCraw, the assistant director of the FBI's Office of Intelligence, stated that "the ability of foreign nationals to use [the hearings procedure] to create a well-documented but fictitious identity in the United States, provides an opportunity for terrorists to move freely within the US without triggering name-based watch lists. It also enables them to board planes without revealing their true identity".

According to new laws, approved by President Bush and announced last week by the Homeland Security Department, illegal immigrants who are not Mexican will be repatriated within days, without a hearing. The effort comes in response to a prolonged campaign by Texas congressmen, who have argued that the president's home state was in danger of becoming a gateway to America for terrorists.

In a letter to President Bush last week, Mr Ortiz wrote: "Law enforcement agencies across the south-west border are alarmed that the US is releasing thousands of OTMs [Other than Mexicans]. Those released include individuals from nations the US defines as state sponsors of potential terrorism, or from those nations that have produced large numbers of al-Qaeda militants."

Mr Ortiz also claims that immigration officials have privately warned him that a number of suspicious foreigners have been detained on the Mexican border and then released, including some who claimed to have travelled from South and Central America but were unable to speak Spanish.

The rules are to be tried out first in Tucson, Arizona, and Laredo, Texas. Any non-Mexican illegal immigrant found within 100 miles of the border, within 14 days of their arrival, will be immediately expelled. D'Wayne Jernigan, a sheriff in Del Rio, Texas, believes that the rule change should be immediately implemented across the entire Mexican border. Last month, immigration authorities told Sheriff Jernigan to release 17 Brazilians from his jail, before the FBI had located an interpreter in order to interview them.

"My concern is, are we serious about terrorism?" said Sheriff Jernigan. "Or about homeland security? Because we're turning loose non-Mexicans by the thousands. Entering this country illegally is a crime, and we're turning our heads and ignoring it."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/08/15/wmex15.xml 

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Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004

Bordering On Nukes?

A key al-Qaeda operative seized in Pakistan recently offered an alarming account of the group's potential plans to target the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction, senior U.S. security officials tell TIME. Sharif al-Masri, an Egyptian who was captured in late August near Pakistan's border with Iran and Afghanistan, has told his interrogators of "al-Qaeda's interest in moving nuclear materials from Europe to either the U.S. or Mexico," according to a report circulating among U.S. government officials.

Masri also said al-Qaeda has considered plans to "smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico, then operatives would carry material into the U.S.," according to the report, parts of which were read to TIME. Masri says his family, seeking refuge from al-Qaeda hunters, is now in Iran.

Masri's account, though unproved, has added to already heightened U.S. concerns about Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge met publicly with top Mexican officials last week to discuss border security and smuggling rings that could be used to slip al-Qaeda terrorists into the country. Weeks prior to Ridge's lightning visit, U.S. and Mexican intelligence conferred about reports from several al-Qaeda detainees indicating the potential use of Mexico as a staging area "to acquire end-stage chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material." U.S. officials have begun to keep a closer eye on heavy-truck traffic across the border. The Mexicans will also focus on flight schools and aviation facilities on their side of the frontier. And another episode has some senior U.S. officials worried: the theft of a crop-duster aircraft south of San Diego, apparently by three men from southern Mexico who assaulted a watchman and then flew off in a southerly direction. Though the theft's connection to terrorism remains unclear, a senior U.S. law-enforcement official notes that crop dusters can be used to disperse toxic substances. The plane, stolen at night two weeks ago, has not been recovered.

With reporting by Syed Talat Hussain

 

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Chechen Terrorists Probed

from: The Washington Times
www.washingtontimes.com

By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published October 13, 2004

U.S. security officials are investigating a recent intelligence
report that a group of 25 Chechen terrorists illegally entered the
United States from Mexico in July.

The Chechen group is suspected of having links to Islamist terrorists
seeking to separate the southern enclave of Chechnya from Russia,
according to officials familiar with intelligence reports.

Members of the group, said to be wearing backpacks, secretly
traveled to northern Mexico and crossed into a mountainous part of
Arizona that is difficult for U.S. border security agents to
monitor, said officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The intelligence report was supplied to the U.S. government in late
August or early September and was based on information from an
intelligence source that has been proved reliable in other
instances, one official said.

A second U.S. official said the report is being investigated, but
said it could not be determined whether the group of Chechens
actually entered the country, as the intelligence source reported.
"We don't know whether or not that report is true," this official
said.

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that
the intelligence report was provided by another government agency,
but said Border Patrol agents were unable to verify its accuracy.

It could not be learned whether the reported infiltration is related
to the recent Education Department warning to school officials to
examine security in the aftermath of the attack last month by
pro-Chechnya Muslim terrorists on a school in Russia, in which more
than 300 people were killed and some 700 wounded.

In the Russian attack, heavily armed Islamists took over and wired
with explosives the school building in Beslan, North Ossetia. It is
believed that an accidental explosion set off a battle between
Russian security personnel and the terrorists, who set off several
explosions and shot schoolchildren and teachers as they tried to
escape.

U.S. officials believe the Beslan terrorists included some
al Qaeda-linked foreign terrorists.

The Education Department letter said that school officials should
examine "protective measure guidance" for helping to prevent and
respond to a similar terrorist attack, were it to occur in the
United States.

The notice said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security
are "currently unaware of any specific, credible information
indicating a terrorist threat to public and private schools,
universities or colleges in the United States."

The letter stated that indicators of terrorist surveillance before
an attack include interest in site plans for schools, bus routes and
attendance lists from persons who don't normally request such
information.

Authorities also were advised to remain alert for "static
surveillance" by people who may be disguised as panhandlers,
shoeshiners, newspaper or flower vendors, or street sweepers who
seem out of place in a particular area.

Other indicators of terrorist surveillance can include spying on
school security drills, people staring at employees or vehicles in
parking areas, and surveillance by pedestrians.

Fears of an attack on American schools also were raised by the
recent discovery in Iraq of a computer disk containing data showing
the layout of six schools in the United States, including districts
in California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey and Oregon.

Officials believed the disk may have been part of a terrorist plot.
However, FBI officials said on Friday that there did not appear to
be a terrorist threat connected to the computer disk.

The Iraqi who had the disk, a member of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath
Party, apparently was collecting information from the Internet
sites of American schools that would be useful for emergency
planning for Iraqi schools, U.S. officials said.

U.S. security officials have been concerned in recent months that
al Qaeda or other terrorists are planning to enter the United States
from Mexico.

Intelligence officials said a suspected al Qaeda leader who has been
in the United States was spotted recently in Mexico. Officials
believe Adnan Shukrijumah, whom the FBI wants for questioning, met
with alien smugglers in Mexico and Honduras and was seeking ways to
bring al Qaeda members into the United States. Shukrijumah was seen
in August in the Sonora province of northern Mexico, officials said.
Since October 2003, authorities have arrested five Arabs
attempting to cross illegally into the United States from Mexico.

In July, officials dismissed as untrue an Internet report that said
a group of Middle Eastern men were recently caught trying to cross
the border from Mexico.

The report apparently was based on a group of Oaxacan tribesmen who
were stopped as they tried to cross the border in Arizona. The
tribesmen spoke an Indian language native to southern Mexico that
may have been mistaken for Arabic, officials said at the time.


http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/
print.php?StoryID=20041013-121643-5028r

--
http://www.antiwar.com/

http://www.amconmag.com/

http://www.counterpunch.org/

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/

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Open Borders in Dangerous Times
an article by Mark Silverberg

With all our attention focused on the millions of illegal, undocumented Mexican immigrants pouring over our southern border each year, we have paid scant attention to those who have chosen to hide in their midst; those who seek entry into the U.S. not to pursue the American dream…….but to destroy it.

FBI Director Robert Mueller, in a House Appropriations Committee hearing on March 9, 2005 said he was aware that individuals from countries with known Al Qaeda ties had entered the U.S. under false identities. The matter concerned former Homeland Security Deputy Secretary James Loy enough that at one point, he wrote: "Recent information from ongoing investigations, detentions and emerging threat streams strongly suggest that al Qaeda has considered using the Southwest border to infiltrate the United States. Several al Qaeda leaders believe operatives can pay their way into the country through Mexico, and also believe illegal entry is more advantageous than legal entry for operational security reasons." In other words, the less we know about them and their entry into this country, the more dangerous they become.

So, when the 9/11 Commission Report notes that Lebanese nationals sympathetic to Hamas and Hizbollah have been smuggled into the United States with the assistance of "corrupt Mexican officials in Beirut, Mexico City and Tijuana to facilitate their travel"; when, in November 2005, Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) tells the Charlotte Observer that three al Qaeda terrorists had been captured at the U.S.-Mexico border; when evidence surfaces that former al Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed encouraged aspiring "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla to enter the United States by way of Mexico in order to carry out attacks on U.S. targets; when the Washington Times reports that al Qaeda has allied itself with organized Mexican crime groups (such as the notorious Mara Salvatrucha gang, also commonly known as 'MS-13')  to facilitate the entry of al Qaeda operatives into the United States via Mexico; when American intelligence confirms a growing al Qaeda-Hezbollah interest in the Arab communities of the tri-border area of central South America (a lawless, crime-ridden area where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay intersect) as a staging ground for future attacks on American soil; when the Brownsville Herald reports that persons with possible terrorist ties have been captured just after entering the U.S. from Mexico but are being released into the American interior due to lack of detention space at the border; when a Los Angeles radio station reports that Middle Eastern men with al Qaeda links are adopting Hispanic names, acquiring fake Mexican ID cards and are mixing with the stream of illegals coming across our southern border;

1 when KGBT-TV in Harlingen, TX catches Border Patrol agents dropping off a van load of illegal immigrants at a local bus station; when the Tombstone Tumbleweed (June 13, 2004) reports that American border patrol agents arrested one hundred and fifty-eight illegal aliens in Cochise County, Arizona, fifty-three of whom were overheard speaking Farsi (Iranian) and Arabic in the back of the detention vehicle;

2 when Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo releases a report revealing that some illegals from terrorist nations are paying as much as $50,000 to be smuggled into the U.S. and notes that "they're not paying that kind of money simply to work at a 7/11"; and when bin Laden's biographer Hamid Mir writes that several tactical nuclear weapons and enough uranium to build others have already been smuggled over the U.S.-Mexican border for the purpose of launching catastrophic radiological attacks in our major cities……there are significant danger signals emanating from our southern border that America has more to be concerned about than the economic ramifications of Mexican illegals seeking a better life for themselves.

Based upon al Qaeda documents seized by British MI-6 intelligence during recent raids in Pakistan, it is now known that al Qaeda has established strong South American links with the Colombian terror group FARC, the Shining Path in Peru, thousands of Muslim students in the Dominican Republic, the Hugo Chavez government in Venezuela and with Mexico's Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR). The documents reveal that al Qaeda sees these groups as facilitating the entry of al Qaeda operatives into the United States through the porous Mexican border.

The Venezuela terrorist connection is especially disturbing. The Washington Times recently quoted Thomas A. Shannon, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs that  "Cuban intelligence has effectively cloned itself inside Venezuelan intelligence" and that the Chavez government is providing shelter for organizations with ties to unspecified "terrorist organizations in the Middle East" notably Hezbollah.

3 Venezuelan identity cards are also being distributed to foreigners from Middle Eastern nations, specifically Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, and Lebanon - cards that are then used to obtain legal travel documents and passports to the U.S.

In the post 9/11 world, these events represent significant warning signals. According to former FBI consultant Paul L. Williams, thousands of al Qaeda agents have already infiltrated the U.S. over the Mexican border with the mission of carrying out what he terms the "American Hiroshima" plan. 

4 These "sleepers" were provided with phony identifications (mostly bogus matricula consular ID cards that are indistinguishable from Mexico's official ID cards and are accepted in the U.S. to open bank accounts and obtain driver's licenses). Bin Laden's goal, according to Williams, is to kill at least four million Americans, two million of whom must be children. Only then, (bin Laden says) would the crimes committed by America on the Arab and Muslim world be avenged. Thus, the issue of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexican border is as much if not more a national security threat than an economic one.

For years, a dangerous loophole has existed in our border security system - one that separates "illegals" into two groups - those who are automatically turned back at the border, and those from countries other than Mexico who are allowed into the U.S. pending deportation hearings. These "other than Mexicans" (OTMs) come primarily from other Latin American countries although an undetermined number come from countries designated by our government as countries of "Special Interest (SI)" because of their known al Qaeda presence - countries that include Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Qatar, Algeria, Somalia and Malaysia.

5 According to reports issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a September 2005 Congressional Report, the numbers of OTMs released on their own recognizance in this country for fiscal years 2002 (5,775) and 2003 (9,139) was far surpassed in 2004 when 32,782 were released pending their hearings. In 2005, another 63,494 were released and these figures are considered low.

6 Although the number of known Special Interest (SI) OTMs entering the U.S. through undocumented channels are very small (1,615 apprehensions between 1999 and 2004), the security threat arises from the fact that of the 70% of OTMs known to have been released on their own recognizance once they have entered the U.S., less than 30% actually show up for their deportation hearings. They simply disappear into the American interior......and it is the fear of what these SI-OTMs may be planning that keeps DHS and FBI agents up at night.

The so-called "catch and release" policy exercised at our southern (and northern) border is due to the lack of federal detention facilities. Rather than detaining OTMs until a deportation court hearing or deporting them outright, they are released on their own recognizance. On June 8, 2004 border agents at the Las Cruces, N.M. border station apprehended three illegal Pakistanis.......and promptly released them. The same day, guards at Texas' Uvalde station released a Bosnian wanted on an Interpol warrant and at the McAllen Border Patrol Sector of Texas more than 42,000 OTMs were released in 2005. Law-enforcement authorities told the Washington Times that al Qaeda is well aware of these loopholes.

Nor is the southern border the only porous border. Despite the projected increase in expenditures for additional border guards provided for in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the Canadian border also continues to operate like a sieve. Most of Canada's one hundred and sixty land and maritime border crossings are guarded by a lone staffer.

7 Heather MacDonald, a contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute's City Journal produced a scathing report in mid-December 2004 on U.S.-Canadian border security. She noted that the alien-smuggling trade was the "sea in which terrorists swim" and indications are that the trade is thriving primarily due to fears of offending the race and civil rights lobbies. She noted that, each week agents at the U.S. border patrol's Swanton sector catch Middle Easterners and North Africans sneaking into Vermont. “And every week, they immediately release (them) with a polite request to return for a deportation hearing because the Department of Homeland Security has failed to budget enough funding for sufficient detention space…….. In May 2004, Swanton agents released illegal aliens from Malaysia, Pakistan, Morocco, Uganda and India without bond. Since these aliens chose to evade the standard visa process, none has had a background check by a U.S. consular official that might have uncovered terrorist connections." All are now at large in the U.S.

8  The 9/11 Commission Report cataloged the "failures of imagination, policy, capabilities and management" that enabled Islamic terrorists to kill over 3,000 Americans. We have clearly not learned the lessons of 9/11. Unfortunately, what happens at our borders never stays at our borders. By not securing our northern and southern flanks, we continue to expose our country to catastrophe. As Richard Shultz, an international security expert at Tufts University's Fletcher School in Medford, Mass. has acknowledged: "We believe there is an international Salafist jihadi movement with a goal to attack....... the U.S. These terrorists are smart. They study these issues and learn from one other. And one way (into America) is right through the southern security perimeter." 

ENDNOTES

1.            "Osama's biographer says nukes in U.S. - Border used to smuggle WMDs inside America, says source," WorldNetDaily, May 24, 2006; see also: Michelle Malkin.com; Joseph Farah, "Al-Qaida nukes already in U.S. - Terrorists, bombs smuggled across Mexico border by MS-13 gangsters," WorldNetDaily, July 11, 2005; Joseph Farah, "INVASION USA: Osama's exploits south of border - Al-Qaida in league with Mexican radicals in plot to penetrate U.S., says MI6 report, WorldNetDaily, May 10, 2006; Joseph Farah, "Al-Qaida south of the border - Rumsfeld: Human smuggling rings tied to bin Laden's terrorist network," WorldNetDaily, February 16, 2004; Jerry Seper, “Al Qaeda seeks ties to local gangs,” Washington Times, September 28, 2004

2.         World Tribune, August 2, 2004

3.            “Venezuela and terrorists,” The Washington Times, May 21, 2006

4.         Paul L. Williams, The Al Qaeda Connection: International Terrorism, Organized Crime and the Coming Apocalypse (Prometheus Books, 2005)

5.         Leo W. Banks, “Other Than Mexicans - Are terrorists entering the United States through Arizona's border with Mexico?" Tucson Weekly, September 2, 2004

6.         Faye Bowers, "US-Mexican Border as a Terror Risk," Christian Science Monitor," March 22, 2005; Douglas Jehl, "U.S. Aides Cite Worry on Qaeda Infiltration From Mexico", New York Times, February 17, 2005; Chris Kelly, “The Immigration Blog,” May 23, 2005; “Border Security: Apprehensions of “other than Mexicans,” Congressional Research Report, September 22, 2005; Walter Ewing, "U.S. Border Insecurity: U.S. Border - Enforcement Policies and National Security," American Immigration Law Foundation, Spring 2006 

7.         Beth Duff-Brown, “,” The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), December 16, 2004; see also: “Intelligence Law Contains Enhanced Border Security Provisions,” USINFO.state.gov, December 20,2004. President Bush's proposed 2006 budget for the Department of Homeland Security called for 210 additional Border Patrol agents instead of the 2,000 mandated in legislation signed in December 2004.

8.         It should be noted that Ahmed Ressam ("The Millennium Bomber") an Algerian, was caught in December 1999 almost by accident at the Canadian border with a hundred pounds of explosives destined for the Los Angeles International Airport. He ran an al Qaeda cell in Montreal.

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