FRONTLINES–BORDER SERIES–THE TERROR THREAT on the US Mexico Border (MAY 2015)

May 16, 2015

LTC Oliver North

It was a privilege to participate in the Frontlines documentary on the terrorist threat on the US Mexico Border. LTC Oliver North’s introduction aptly noted the urgency of the matter. The documentary is published here: https://www.nratv.com/series/frontlines/episode/frontlines-season-4-episode-2-border-security-the-terror-threat

Chuck Holton (pictured below) did an excellent job capturing the insecurity of the border, the transit of the area by not only “illegals” but also OTMs (Other Than Mexicans), including Specially Designated Countries (like Iran). Bottom line: The US Mexico border is easily penetrated and poses a significant risk of terrorist activities.

Chuck Holton

But we need not speculate about terrorist activities on the US Mexico Border. In 2011, as the documentary noted in detail, the border was penetrated by Iranian agents as they infiltrated with the intent of assassinating the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, D.C. as well as the intent to bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies there. Had not the operation been interdicted by a DEA agent posing as a cartel member, and the FBI, the outcomes could have been catastrophic. I discussed this event–The Iran Assassination Plot–briefly in the documentary (pictured below). Reports of the presence of ISIS, Somalian terrorists on both sides of the border, and gangs like MS 13 should all be taken seriously. What we as Americans are most likely seeing is a development of organizational structures by these groups as they transit the area. The absence of major attacks does not indicate a lack of activity, but rather an organizational stage similar to Al Qaeda’s work during the 1990s before it attacked on 9-11.

Scott Catino

But on a daily basis Arizona ranchers like John Ladd (pictured below) face a major problem: armed cartels breaking through the border fence or transiting ranches as they move their human and drug cargo to nearby highways and areas for points deeper in our country.  Many Americans do not realize the danger and delicate balance between cartel operations and rancher life along the border. While these ranchers are adaptive, tough, and experienced with the problem it only takes a chance meeting to end in tragedy, a chance meeting with a rogue cartel member not following strict orders, or a desperate, hungry, dehydrated operative moving weapons and money south to Mexico.  The death of rancher Robert Krentz in 2010 illustrates the point.

John Ladd

If border security is going to improve it will take more efforts like this documentary to raise public awareness of the seriousness of the issue.

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