Hezbollah Terror Threat on U.S.-Mexico Border Is Real
On Feb. 17, the Arizona Capitol Times printed a story disputing my statements concerning Hezbollah terrorists coming across our unsecured, unprotected southern border into the U.S.
Quoting PolitiFact, the article claimed that “there is little evidence that Hezbollah is working in Mexico,” and that there is even “less public support for the idea that (Hezbollah’s) presence poses a ‘very significant threat’ to the U.S.”
The article undermines the need for additional law enforcement support on the Arizona/Mexico border, which is the purpose of my bill, SB1083, which establishes an Arizona Special Missions Unit to organize a state-based, mobile force to assist law enforcement under the direction of the governor.
I would like to emphatically state that there is indeed ample evidence of terrorist activity coming across the border, including activity by Hezbollah. For example, on Feb. 2, former Chief of Operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Michael Braun, testified before Congress about Iran’s growing influence along the southern United States Border.
Braun testified that the terrorist group, Hezbollah, has developed strong, sophisticated relationships with Mexican drug cartels. “And by developing those relations it provides them with the ability to operate far from home in our neighborhood and - as I said earlier - on our doorstep,” he replied.
At the same hearing, “Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, committee member and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, asked about Hezbollah’s relationship to criminal organizations in the Western Hemisphere and what it means for U.S. security. Braun replied with the warning that those relationships allow “these groups to operate freely in our neighborhood” and said the U.S. would regret it if the threats were not taken seriously.”
On Feb. 9, Zachary Taylor, a former Border Patrol Agent who is now Vice Chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, appeared on national television and described the known relationship between cartel tunnels used for smuggling and the Shia militant group Hezbollah.
According to Mr. Taylor, a Muslim cleric, Abdullah al-Nafsi, said that “there is no need for airplanes and planning; one man with the courage to carry a suitcase of anthrax through the tunnels from Mexico to the United States could kill 330,000 Americans in one hour.”
Even Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has recently expressed concern about a potential Hezbollah attack against the U.S.
Documented examples of terrorists slipping across our southern border are not new. Consider the following:
In February 2001, Mahmoud Kourani (the brother of Hezbollah’s security chief in southern Lebanon) came across the border from Tijuana into California in the trunk of a car, after bribing a Mexican embassy official in Beirut to get a visa. He eventually settled in Dearborn, Mich. Kourani had received training in weapons, intelligence, and spy craft in Iran.
In December 2002, Salim Boughader was arrested for smuggling 200 Lebanese, including Hezbollah operatives, across the border from Tiajuana into California. Boughader had previously worked for Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV satellite network.
In July 2004, a woman named Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed was arrested at a Texas airport boarding a flight to New York after she either walked or swam across the Mexican border into Texas. According to the Washington Post, she was connected to a Pakistani terrorist group and was believed to be ferrying instructions to U.S.-based al-Qaeda operatives.