Years after a Judicial Watch investigation uncovered that Islamic terrorists are entering the United States through the Mexican border, federal authorities have arrested a Jordanian man 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 statement issued this week by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Aldairi is a legal resident of Mexico, the feds reveal in their arrest warrant affidavit. From July 2017 to December 2017 he conspired with unnamed “others” to smuggle the Special Interest Aliens (SIA) into the U.S. through Eagle Pass, Texas. Sometime between October 31, 2017 and December 12, 2017 the six citizens of Yemen crossed illegally into the U.S. from Mexico, the federal document says, adding that the SIA’s were detained and interviewed by investigators from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“Each of them paid Aldairi varying amounts to be smuggled into the United States from Mexico,” the warrant affidavit states, adding that all six Yemenis positively identified Aldairi from a photo lineup as the person who brought them into the country. Yemen is a major base for Islamic militants that is deemed a high security threat by the State Department and the 2009 Christmas Day airline bomber proudly trained there.
This is hardly an isolated case. Foreigners from nations with terrorist ties have been slipping into the U.S. via Mexico for years and Judicial Watch has exposed several plots as part of an ongoing investigation into the critical national security threats that grip the region. In one operation exposed by Judicial Watch, Mexican drug cartels smuggled nationals of terrorist countries into a small Texas rural town near El Paso Texas. To elude the Border Patrol, they used remote farm roads to reach stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso. Judicial Watch also uncovered State Department records confirming that “Arab extremists” are entering the U.S. through Mexico with the assistance of smuggling network “cells.”
Among them was a top Al Qaeda operative wanted by the FBI, identified via a cable from the American consulate in Ciudad Juárez as Adnan G. El Shurkrjumah. Shukrijumah helped plan several U.S. attacks, including plots to bomb Oprah Winfrey’s studio and detonate nuclear devices in multiple American cities (watch a Judicial Watch documentary on it here). For years Shukrijumah appeared on the FBI’s most wanted list and, despite being sought by the agency, crossed back and forth into the U.S. from Mexico to meet fellow militant Islamists in Texas. In fact, as one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, Shukrijumah piloted an aircraft into the Cielo Dorado airfield in Anthony, New Mexico.
Another renowned jihadist, an ISIS operative named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, has traveled back and forth through the porous southern border, a high-ranking Homeland Security official told Judicial Watch. Khabir, a national of Kuwait, lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso and has trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. Mexican drug traffickers help him and other Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the United States to explore targets for future attacks, according to state and federal law enforcement officials interviewed by Judicial Watch. This has been going on for many years.
In fact, at least two government assessments have backed Judicial Watch’s reports. One of them, an internal Texas Department of Public Safety report, documents that several members of known Islamist terrorist organizations have been apprehended crossing the southern border in recent years. A U.S. military intelligence report subsequently disclosed that more than 30,000 migrants who entered the U.S. through the southwestern border were from countries of “terrorist concern.”
Just a few months ago, Judicial Watch obtained government figures showing that an alarming number of migrants from Bangladesh, another hotbed of terrorist activity, are entering the U.S. through the Mexican border in Texas. Situated in south Asia, Bangladesh is a recruiting ground for terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). For two consecutive years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stats show that the Laredo Border Patrol sector is a highly popular crossing point for Bangladeshi nationals.
At the time 209 Bangladeshi nationals had been arrested since the start of fiscal year 2018. The State Department has warned of a “significant increase in terrorist activity” in Bangladesh, most notably carried out by ISIS and AQIS. This year the Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) added ISIS-Bangladesh to its sanctions list by inserting the group in the government’s growing Counter Terrorism Designations list.