TERRORIST TAKE DOWN: Afghan on FBI terror watchlist arrested entering US via Mexico—but how many terrorists have slipped through?
It’s a headline ripped out of my new political thriller – but it’s fact, not fiction
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – In a chilling development that seems ripped out of the pages of my new political thriller, an Afghan national on the FBI’s terror watchlist illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border last week.
By the grace of God – and the vigilant efforts of the U.S. Border Patrol – the suspect was arrested as he crossed the border with a group of migrants near Otay Mesa, California.
“Border Patrol agents took the migrants to a processing station, where a fingerprint scan determined the Afghan was a match on the Terrorist Screening Database,” reported Fox News, which broke the story on Sunday. “The FBI was then notified, confirmed the results and began an investigation.”
It’s not an isolated incident.
More than 80 foreign nationals on the FBI’s terror watchlist have been apprehended on the U.S.-Mexican border trying to illegally enter the United States just since Jan 1.
Last year, the Border Patrol arrested a total of 98 foreign nationals on the terror watchlist who were unlawfully trying to enter via Mexico.
This is exactly the premise of my new political thriller.
In The Libyan Diversion, the president of the United States is not paying attention to the crisis on the U.S.-Mexican border.
As the novel unfolds, radical Islamist terrorists from Libya, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, and other countries in North Africa and the Middle East, decide the best way to get into the United States is not by flying in, or coming in via a cruise ship, or simply driving across the border using falsified passports and other documents.
Rather, they decide the easiest thing to do is slip in across the American borders with the wave of other illegal migrants, hiring drug cartels to help them.
Not to pull off another 9/11-style terror attack.
No, these jihadists want to pull off a nuclear 9/11.
As I wrote in two columns last week – see here and here – I pray that the scenario in The Libyan Diversion never comes to pass.
I’m not trying to predict the future.
But I am not just trying to entertain.
I’m genuinely and deeply worried that the Biden administration's total failure to seal the U.S.-Mexican border could lead to catastrophe.
And I’m not alone.
The news of the arrest of the Afghan national set off alarm bells for several California political leaders.
“The presence of an individual on the terror watchlist crossing our borders is a stark reminder of the failures of the Federal Government that are now being put on San Diegans and Americans,” said San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond in a statement released by his office.
“The open border policy has allowed fentanyl to pour into our country, asylum seekers to being human trafficked and terrorists to attempt to enter our country,” Desmond said.
“The Federal Government should focus on developing a secure and efficient immigration system that prioritizes thorough screenings and background checks while providing a streamlined and fair process for those seeking lawful entry,” Desmond added.
Desmond was not alone.
Congressman Darrell Issa, the California Republican, represents the district where the Afghan terror suspect was arrested.
“Biden’s open borders aren’t just a getaway to five million illegals, record human and child trafficking, and the deadliest drug crisis in our history,” Issa wrote in a statement released on Twitter.
“Biden’s reckless policy is also an open invitation to even the most wanted terrorists in the world to come to America,” Issa added. “They know they’ll never have to leave. The nation knows what’s going on and this president has only begun to be held accountable for what he has done.”
The Biden administration counters that it is working to fight the problem, pointing to stricter penalties on asylum-seekers who try to enter the country illegally.
Specifically, the administration said asylum-seekers who enter illegally could be charged with a misdemeanor of illegal entry. If the asylum-seekers have tried to enter illegally before, they could be charged with a felony.
They could also be barred entry to the U.S. for five years.
The FBI refused to comment on the arrest of the Afghan national.
“The FBI has no comment on your specific inquiry. We are vigilant in our efforts to detect and assess possible threats and we work closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe,” noted the public affairs office of the FBI’s San Diego field office.
The State of Texas, in preparation for an increased influx of illegal immigrants, deployed its National Guard units in full force along the Rio Grande border with Mexico.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.