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

Earlier today I left you with a two-part question: Is the U.S.-Mexico border a threat to national security and is al-Qaeda exploiting it to gain entry to America?

Let's take the last part first. One of the myths debunked in Richard Miniter's new book Disinformation: 22 Media Myths That Undermine The War on Terror is "the U.S. border with Mexico is the most likely place for al-Qaeda terrorists to sneak into the homeland." After thoroughly researching the issue Miniter concluded, "At this time, the balance of evidence shows that no known al-Qaeda terrorist has entered the United States from Mexico."

As Miniter points out, this doesn't mean that al-Qaeda can't or won't try to exploit vulnerabilities on our southern border at some point in the future, only that as things currently stand "the threat from Mexico is purely speculation."

Miniter then goes on to explain in great detail why the evidence proves the Canadian border is a much more real and significant threat for al-Qaeda to penetrate the United States. "If history is any guide," Miniter writes, "al-Qaeda will come from the north."

So, yes, the U.S.-Mexico border is a potential threat to national security and needs to be taken seriously, but we need to separate speculation from fact in assessing just how much of a threat the southern border is relative to other threats we face.

Which leads me back to the claims of al-Qaeda related activity on the border that have popped up recently. One claim was retracted and two others are based on speculative information that either hasn't been or can't be confirmed by official sources.  Coincidentally, all three claims have been made by Republicans pushing tougher immigration measures in Congress.

Miniter demonstrated how these types of claims, once made, have a way of becoming part of a myth.  Until we get more solid evidence , I suggest viewing reports of al-Qaeda activity on the U.S.-Mexico border with a good dose of caution and skepticism.