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al-Qaeda & The U.S.-Mexico Border - Part I

On November 16 I wrote about Rep. Sue Myrick's explosive claim - now retracted - that it was "a fact" that we were holding three al-Qaida members who came across from Mexico into the United States.

That same day a reader sent through this article from WorldNetDaily reporting that Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) said it had been confirmed to him we did in fact have a suspected al-Qaeda member in custody who was captured by Mexican authorites living just across the border and handed over to U.S. authorities. The following Monday, Culberson repeated the claim to the nation on Hannity and Colmes:

CULBERSON: The Hudspeth County sheriff, Arvin West, and the Brewster County, Ronnie Dodson, confirmed for me that they had an Al Qaeda terrorist, an Iraqi national who was on the FBI's terrorist list as an Al Qaeda member in the Brewster County jail...

HANNITY: Congressman, are you going just based on what he's telling you or are you going based on the evidence that you've seen? And do you have any other evidence to corroborate this?

CULBERSON: Both Sheriff West and Sheriff Dodson, the two sheriffs from Hudspeth and Brewster County, had this information confirmed for them by the FBI and the Department of Justice, who came down, and this guy was on the FBI's Al Qaeda list of terrorists. He was picked up and questioned. First, questioned carefully by the FBI and then picked up and taken out of the Brewster County jail.

And I just discovered tonight, Sean, the border patrol confirmed that this is not the first time that an Arab from a special interest country, a country with known Al Qaeda connections, has been handed over by the Mexicans to a local sheriff and then picked up by the FBI.

The reason you can't confirm it is the FBI won't talk about it.

Today Human Events is touting an exclusive interview with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) under the title, "Senator Says There's No Stopping Al Qaeda From Crossing Mexico Border." In the in interview Cornyn says he's been shown anecdotal evidence of Muslim activity on the border including pictures of discarded juice boxes with Arabic writing on them. Senator Cornyn continued:

To some extent, people are in denial. Every time I talk about the vulnerability of our Southern border, people say the 9/11 people came her legally and that’s a problem, and then they overstayed. Or they say, our Northern border is longer and easier to penetrate. But it just seems so obvious to me that a coyote, a human smuggler, who charges $1,500 to bring in a bartender or construction worker, would also, for the appropriate price, bring in somebody from a country of special interest. And, in fact, that is well known to the federal government.

What to make of these reports? Is the U.S.-Mexico border being exploited by al-Qaeda and is it a serious threat to national security? Back in a bit with some more thoughts.