by WorldTribune Staff, June 6, 2018
A U.S.-Mexico border region where Islamic State (ISIS) cells are known to operate with the help of Juarez Cartel smugglers is getting a new wall, a government watchdog group said.
A 20-mile section of border “is finally getting a wall to replace laughable ‘road barriers’ that, not surprisingly, have failed miserably to secure the area,” Judicial Watch reported on June 6. “The big question is, why did it take so long?”
Reports of terrorist groups exploiting the U.S. southern border have been dismissed or downplayed by major U.S. corporate media groups.
The new wall is being erected between Santa Teresa, New Mexico, and Ciudad Juarez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
Related: Ten terrorists who took advantage of the porous U.S.-Mexico border, Jan. 24, 2017
The existing “vehicle barrier” located west of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry will be replaced with an 18- to 30-foot high bollard-style wall, according to an announcement issued by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).
The 20-mile stretch of border is “an area where ISIS cells operate and Juarez Cartel smugglers help terrorists through the desert and across the border,” Judicial Watch said.
The Santa Teresa Border Patrol Sector Chief said in a recent local news report: “This area of Santa Teresa operations is one of our busiest areas for illegal alien apprehension and has been for several years and a prime corridor for the smuggling of narcotics.”
Last year 25,193 illegal immigrants were apprehended and 34,189 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine were seized in Santa Teresa, according to government figures.
“The problem is far more serious,” Judicial Watch said.
In 2015 Judicial Watch reported that ISIS cells are operating in the Santa Teresa region, just a few miles from El Paso, Texas in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juarez. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States.
Mexican intelligence sources at the time reported that ISIS planned to exploit the railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa and that ISIS “spotters” were located in New Mexico’s East Potrillo Mountains.
Judicial Watch noted that its sources include state and federal law enforcement officials on both sides of the border, including a Mexican Army field officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspecto.
Judicial Watch noted that “an Al Qaida terrorist (Adnan G. El Shukrijumah) on the FBI’s most wanted list for years crossed back and forth into the United States from Mexico to meet fellow militant Islamists in Texas and piloted an aircraft into the Cielo Dorado airfield – about 25 miles from Santa Teresa – in Anthony, New Mexico.”
Shukrijumah “was eventually killed in an intelligence-borne operation in Pakistan, but the fact remains that he long eluded U.S. authorities by utilizing a vulnerable portion of the Mexican border region to conduct business,” Judicial Watch said.