Five years after a Judicial Watch investigation uncovered evidence of Islamic terrorists infiltrating the United States through Mexico, a captured ISIS fighter is providing details of a plot in which jihadists enter the country through the southern border to carry out an attack.
The terrorists begin their journey in Central America and exploit vulnerabilities in the Mexican border to reach the U.S., according to Abu Henricki, an ISIS soldier captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces in Rojava, Syria. Henricki and 160 of his fellow terrorists were interviewed at length by a research group called the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism. The nonpartisan organization published its findings recently in an alarming report that includes a video of the interview with the captured terrorist, who is Canadian and has dual Trinidadian citizenship
“They were going to move me to the Mexican side [of the U.S. southern border] via Puerto Rico,” Henricki says about the ISIS plot. “This was mastermind[ed] by a guy in America. Where he is, I do not know. That information, the plan came from someone from the New Jersey state from America. I was going to take a boat [from Puerto Rico] into Mexico.
He was going to smuggle me in,” Henricki explains. “I don’t know where I’d end up.” In the report, the researchers reveal that the ISIS fighters were to travel from Syria to penetrate the U.S. southern order by infiltrating migration routes. “Whatever one thinks of President Donald Trump’s heightened rhetoric about the U.S.- Mexico border and his many claims that it is vulnerable to terrorists, ISIS apparently also thought so, as knowledge of this ISIS plot came from the mouth of a now-repentant ISIS cadre,” the report states.
Judicial Watch has reported this for years as part of an ongoing investigation into the national security crisis created by the dangerously porous southern border. Judicial Watch has interviewed local, state and federal law enforcement officials as well as U.S. and Mexican military sources and has traveled to remote Mexican border towns to interview American ranchers.
When the Central American caravan got started last fall, Judicial Watch deployed an investigative team to the Guatemala-Honduras border after Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales confirmed that nearly 100 Isis terrorists had been apprehended in the impoverished Central American nation. Judicial Watch’s reporting has confirmed that ISIS has a training cell just a few miles from El Paso, Texas in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
We also verified that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling foreigners from countries with terrorist links to stash areas in a rural Texas town (Acala) near El Paso. Back in 2014 Judicial Watch reported that four ISIS soldiers, who entered the U.S. through the Mexican border, were arrested in McAllen and Pharr Texas.
Two years ago, Judicial Watch exposed a plot involving Mexican drug traffickers that help Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the U.S. to explore targets for future attacks. Among the jihadists that travel back and forth through the porous southern border is a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso.
Khabir trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen and at the time lived in Mexico for more than a year, according to information provided to Judicial Watch by high-ranking Homeland Security officials. Khabir trains thousands of men—mostly Syrians and Yemenis—to fight in an ISIS base situated in the Mexico-U.S. border region near Ciudad Juárez, the intelligence gathered by Judicial Watch’s sources reveals.
The U.S. government—under both Republican and Democrat administrations—has long possessed intelligence indicating that Islamic terrorists exploit the southern border. In fact, Judicial Watch uncovered State Department records confirming that, for more than a decade, the government has known that “Arab extremists” are entering the country through Mexico with the assistance of smuggling network “cells.”
Among them was a top Al Qaeda operative wanted by the FBI. Some Mexican smuggling networks actually specialize in providing logistical support for Arab individuals attempting to enter the United States, the government documents obtained by Judicial Watch say. The top Al Qaeda leader in Mexico was identified in the September 2004 cable from the American consulate in Ciudad Juárez as Adnan G. El Shurkrjumah. The cable was released to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act.
Just last year a Jordanian man was arrested by federal authorities for smuggling six citizens of Yemen—an Al Qaeda hotbed—into the U.S. through Mexico. The smuggler, 31-year-old Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldairi, conspired with others to sneak the six Yemeni nationals across the Texas border for a fee, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) statement.
Weeks later a group of migrants from a terrorist nation managed to infiltrate the U.S. through Mexico, though the Border Patrol subsequently apprehended the men. All were from Bangladesh, a south Asian Islamic country that’s well known as a recruiting ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Earlier in the year, Judicial Watch had reported on the epidemic of Bangladeshi nationals getting smuggled into the country via the porous southern border, especially through Texas.