After nearly two weeks of furiously denying that Islamic terrorists are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States, a senior Homeland Security official has confirmed it to Congress.
Judicial Watch broke the story on August 29 that terrorist groups in Juarez, a crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas, are planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources confirmed to JW that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch—both telephonic and in writing—about this information but the agency has vigorously denied it in the media. This week, however, a top Homeland Security official essentially conceded that JW’s story is in fact credible. The official, Francis Taylor, is DHS Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis and this week he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Though his prepared statement, available on the committee website, is watered down the admission came during a verbal exchange with an Arizona senator.
Taylor confirmed that militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) are planning to enter the United States via the porous southern border and that their supporters are known to be plotting to infiltrate the United States, according to a Washington news outlet that covered the hearing. “There have been Twitter, social media exchanges among ISIL adherents across the globe speaking about that as a possibility,” Taylor told Arizona Senator John McCain during the hearing. The DHS undersecretary also admitted this when McCain challenged him on border security overall: “If I gave you the impression I thought the border security was what it needed to be to protect against all the risks coming across the state that’s not what I meant to say.”
Days earlier the top law enforcement official in Midland County Texas told a national television news audience that he received an alert bulletin warning that ISIS may have formed a terrorist cell in or near Juarez. Just as JW’s sources had confirmed a week earlier, Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter disclosed that the alert warned law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for such activity. The local newspaper in Midland, which is located halfway between Ft. Worth and El Paso, contacted the FBI for a statement on the alarming revelation but the agency refused to comment.
Following these two important developments from the DHS and the Texas sheriff, New York Police Department officials also affirmed this week that the threat to the U.S. is “growing exponentially” with the emergence of ISIS. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said on national television that ISIS is a very sophisticated operation with very sophisticated recruiting capabilities that include the use of social media, videos and magazines. In fact, the NYPD chief disclosed that ISIS is more sophisticated than Al Qaeda.
Incredibly the administration continues denying that ISIS presents an imminent threat in the United States, even as information surfaces indicating otherwise. Also contradicting the government’s official stance is the increase in security at a key Army base, Ft. Bliss, near Juarez. The move has been attributed to vague “security assessments” and the constant concern for the safety of military members, families, employees and civilians. This week the General in charge of the compound actually said it was “coincidental” that security was increased following JW’s report of ISIS operating in Juarez.
However, senior military experts contacted by JW say the move indicates that the El Paso military facility is a target because changes to security measures are only made when there are clear and present threats. “It’s a significant issue when this is done,” retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin told JW. Boykin is a former commander of the Army’s elite Delta Force who served four years as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. “That means they’re getting a threat stream. Ft. Bliss had to have a clear and present threat.”