February 27, 2015
Washington Post -- February 26, 2015
Texas officials warn of immigrants with terrorist ties crossing southern border
A top Texas law enforcement agency says border security organizations have apprehended several members of known Islamist terrorist organizations crossing the southern border in recent years, and while a surge of officers to the border has slowed the flow of drugs and undocumented immigrants, it's costing the state tens of millions of dollars.
In a report to Texas elected officials, the state Department of Public Safety says border security agencies have arrested several Somali immigrants crossing the southern border who are known members of al-Shabab, the terrorist group that launched a deadly attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, and Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, another Somalia-based group once funded by Osama bin Laden. Another undocumented immigrant arrested crossing the border was on multiple U.S. terrorism watch lists, the report says.
According to the report, one member of al-Shabab, apprehended in June 2014, told authorities he had been trained for an April 2014 suicide attack in Mogadishu. He said he escaped and reported the planned attack to African Union troops, who were able to stop the attack. The FBI believed another undocumented immigrant was an al-Shabab member who helped smuggle several potentially dangerous terrorists into the U.S.
Authorities also apprehended immigrants who said they were members of terrorist organizations in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The Department of Public Safety said the report, first published by the Houston Chronicle, was not meant for public distribution.
"[T]hat report was inappropriately obtained and [the Chronicle was] not authorized to possess or post the law enforcement sensitive document," department press secretary Tom Vinger said in an e-mail.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not respond to requests for comment.