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Terrorism: The threat from south of the border
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, May 10, 2007

One of the things we take grief over is borders. That's to say, some of us do. Some in our group feel "open borders" to be an important principle and continue to support them. And I certainly understand the principle and the stance. In a perfect world, I'd be for them as well. Unfortunately we live in an imperfect world in which open borders pose a security threat to those living here in the US. An MSNBC piece points out the problem quite well. First the threat:
The Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia has taken root in South America, fostering a well-financed force of Islamist radicals boiling with hatred for the United States and ready to die to prove it, according to militia members, U.S. officials and police agencies across the continent.

From its Western base in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah has mined the frustrations of many Muslims among about 25,000 Arab residents whose families immigrated mainly from Lebanon in two waves, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and after the 1985 Lebanese civil war.

An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group founded in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an international terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South American officials.
Yes it is our old friend Hezbollah and their growing presence in South America. As noted, they've picked a particularlly lawless area within South America, where law enforcement and military presence is at an absolute minimum, to set themselves up.

So one has to wonder ... what is the reason for Hezbollah to establish itself in South America? I mean does it have a beef with countries in the region? Or, does it amount to an easy and fairly safe way to establish a base for attacks further north? The answer is the latter:
U.S. officials fear that poorly patrolled borders and rampant corruption in the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah terrorists to infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely lawless region, it is easy for potential terrorists, without detection, to book passage to the United States through Brazil and then Mexico simply by posing as tourists.

They are men like Mustafa Khalil Meri, a young Arab Muslim whom Telemundo interviewed in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay’s second-largest city and the center of the Tri-border region. There is nothing particularly distinctive about him, but beneath the everyday T-shirt he wears beats the heart of a devoted Hezbollah militiaman.

“If he attacks Iran, in two minutes Bush is dead,” Meri said. “We are Muslims. I am Hezbollah. We are Muslims, and we will defend our countries at any time they are attacked.”
What should also become clear here is this trans-national terroist group, while obviously supported by certain states, can't be identified as an apparatus or organ of that state, giving the supporting states plausible deniability and a certain level of immunity from attack. Hezbollah is a useful proxy with which to wage it's holy war. South America is simply the staging area for the next part of that war, and the southern border of the US is the way they will push their terror cells into the US proper:
It is surprisingly easy to move across borders in the Triple Frontier, where motorbikes are permitted to cross without documents. A smuggler can bike from Paraguay into Brazil and return without ever being asked for a passport, and it is not much harder for cars and trucks.

The implications of such lawlessness could be dire, U.S. and Paraguayan officials said. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Hezbollah militiamen would raise no suspicions because they have Latin American passports, speak Spanish and look like Hispanic tourists.

The CIA singles out the Mexican border as an especially inviting target for Hezbollah operatives. “Many alien smuggling networks that facilitate the movement of non-Mexicans have established links to Muslim communities in Mexico,” its Counter Terrorism Center said in a 2004 threat paper.

“Non-Mexicans often are more difficult to intercept because they typically pay high-end smugglers a large sum of money to efficiently assist them across the border, rather than haphazardly traverse it on their own.”
Now, like it or not, this is the security threat open borders pose. And yes, I'm aware that when stopped at one border, committed jihadists will attempt entry elsewhere. But right now, they simply don't have too. In fact, it is entirely too easy to get in via the means outlined above to ever have to worry about a more difficult method of entry.

Can we ever completely and successfully secure our borders? Probably not. But doesn't mean we can't improve our security on the borders many times over what we have today. Pretending the problem is minimal or doesn't really exist, or claiming the principle of "open borders" trumps all security concerns is simply sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring the very real threat to the people of this nation to again become the victims of another mass casualty attack. We have got to take border security much more seriously than we do, and we have to not only make it a priority but we should break it out of and away from any discussion of immigration reform. It should not be held hostage to our inability to reach a decision on immigration, but acted upon separately and immediately. And if anything should be capable of bi-partisan cooperation, this should be it.
 
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There’s no reason why an open-borders policy can’t coincide with very thorough security measures. It’s as simple as not turning anyone down for non-security reasons, but freely turning people down for security reasons.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
We’re so far from being able to secure our borders that it’s almost not worth discussing. I also think that border security, especially in the sense of stopping terror doesn’t belong in the same conversation as immigration. Would a border fence have stopped or even given us a clue about the mostly recently revealed plot? Would any of the immigration-restriction-disguised-as-homeland-security proposals? I don’t know of any.

Our immigration problem isn’t about terror. Our terror problem isn’t about illegal immigration. Both are serious, but we only confuse matters when we conflate them.
 
Written By: Larry
URL: http://
There’s no reason why an open-borders policy can’t coincide with very thorough security measures. It’s as simple as not turning anyone down for non-security reasons, but freely turning people down for security reasons.
Obviously you don’t understand what the term "open borders" means.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
IMHO, Glasost is even more right then he even knows. Our current quota-based system, like the drug war, stands apart from other US policies by virtue of it’s unblemished record of total failure. It will have to be excised root and branch for our southern border ever to be orderly enough to control. It’s not that "open" borders aren’t incompatible with border security, open borders are a prerequisite.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
IMHO, Glasost is even more right then he even knows. Our current quota-based system, like the drug war, stands apart from other US policies by virtue of it’s unblemished record of total failure. It will have to be excised root and branch for our southern border ever to be orderly enough to control. It’s not that "open" borders aren’t incompatible with border security, open borders are a prerequisite.

I’ve actually done some research on the link between restricted immigration and the informal markets that therefore emerge for criminality, so I do in fact know how right I am. But why spoil the moment? We agree, on the security basis for open borders. Pigs do indeed fly.

Of course, you wouldn’t agree with the raft of restrictions on global capitalism that I’d propose to compensate locals for the economic consequences of open migration, but luckily, we’re not getting into that.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Our politicians can’t seem to fulfill their promises. We were going to put physical barriers in 1986 as a counter to the amnesty offer to illegals and it was promised again last year; so far nothing from the government. The Minutemen have build a 70 mile fence on private land at the border and the main parallel fence is only constructed for 11 of the 70 miles due to lack of funding. That effort gets little coverage in the media. The Minutemen fence in AZ and especially the recently completed 14 mile previously funded government built fence east of San Diego would provide a good example of what can be accomplished by physical barriers, but that kind of investigative reporting doesn’t seem to be a priority for the media. The Fort Dix Six had 3 illegals involved in the plot but since they came here in 1984 as children that won’t provide the media an excuse to investigate either. I guess it will take a terrorist attack originating from those crossing the southern border as full fledged terrorists to get the politicians and medias attention. But since their target will not be the NYTimes’ building, such an attack will not probably provide the motivation for the media to get really interesting in securing the borders. I suspect their rant would be against President Bush not the terrorists.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
I’ve actually done some research on the link between restricted immigration and the informal markets that therefore emerge for criminality, so I do in fact know how right I am.
Most cool. Been reading de de Soto?
But why spoil the moment? We agree, on the security basis for open borders. Pigs do indeed fly.
Pigs don’t fly, it’s just that some pigs accept modern economics and some pigs don’t. And sometimes it’s the pigs on the right that refuse to accept economic reality. It’s an open question as to how many tens of millions of illegals before some of us hard-headed pigs finally admit to ourselves "you know, maybe this can’t work."
Of course, you wouldn’t agree with the raft of restrictions on global capitalism that I’d propose to compensate locals for the economic consequences of open migration, but luckily, we’re not getting into that.


Hmmm. Since the free movement of capital, including human capital, pretty much results in a win-win situation all around, you’re right, I can’t imagine why you would want to restrict it. Have you ever seen this video? It’s really astounding, almost enough to make one believe in capitalism AND statistics.

And AMR, you need to watch this video.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
I think that the most sad thing of all this is the fact that we are in a position that we have to worry about terrorists in the first place.

Let them come. But let them kidnap, rape, and randomly execute the rich. Then we’ll see how long the pacifist, liberal, self-righteous people keep defending the ’rights of extremists’. Let’s see how long they will continue their outreach and understanding to those that know only sadism and death for those that aren’t Muslim.
 
Written By: irashunal
URL: http://
Why would terrorists need to risk their lives swimming across the Rio Grande? The 9/11 hijackers entered the US from the comfort of coach class.
 
Written By: TheGreenMiles
URL: http://thegreenmiles.blogspot.com
Hey great post— just wanted to say that the tri-border threat has been around for a long time.. MSNBC hasn’t exactly "uncovered a secret network" of Hezbollah supporters.. they’re only pointing out something that’s been reported/ argued about for a years now. There have been some interesting developments though.. check out my related post at:

http://roguelystated.com/2007/05/31/the-enemy-next-door-hezbollah-in-south-america/
 
Written By: Fernando Lujan
URL: http://www.roguelystated.com

 
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