Texas Officials Warn of ISIS Threat to US-Mexican Border
A report by the Texas Department of Public Safety raises concerns about ISIS terrorists using the Mexican border to enter and leave the country. The Texas reported noted that at least 13 aspiring terrorists have tried to cross the Mexican border, or considered trying, since 2012.
Most of the people who tried to sneak over the border knew they were on the Federal no-fly list, the report said. According to the Lone Star state’s report, sneaking across the southern border “presents an opportunity for increasing numbers of aspiring foreign terrorist fighters to evade US interdiction efforts such as the No-Fly List.”
The most recent case occurred in October. Texas authorities arrested two Milwaukee men near San Angelo, Texas, on their way to the Mexican border. Jason Ludke, 35, and Yosvany Padilla-Conde, 30, wanted to go to Mexico, obtain fraudulent travel documents and travel to join ISIS in Syria or Iraq.
Texas resident Bilal Hamed Abood, an Iraq-born naturalized US citizen, successfully used the border in 2013 to travel to Syria, where he fought for a Syrian rebel group. The FBI arrested Abood for lying about his initial travel to Syria when he tried to come home through the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Abood claimed that he fought for a faction that was not prohibited under US law. However, FBI agents searched his computer and found that he took an oath of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Texas authorities voiced concern in 2014 about ISIS social media threats to use the Mexican border to enter the United States.
In a criminal complaint filed last year, alleged ISIS supporter Erick Jamal Hendricks claimed to have had contact with an ISIS supporter known as “Abu Harb.” “Abu Harb” told Hendricks that he was in Dallas and that the “Islamic State had brothers in Mexico.”
President Trump touted the ISIS threat as a reason for building his wall along the Mexican border during the campaign. He signed an executive order on Wednesday calling for the wall’s construction, but funding sources for the wall are not yet clear.