AMAC Exclusive – By Aaron Flanigan
For nearly three years, the American people have watched in horror as the crisis on the southern border has injected deadly drugs, violent crime, and human trafficking into American communities. But even as the nation continues to reel from these consequences, one crucial element of the border catastrophe has gone largely overlooked – the rising threat from radical Islamic extremism.
Thanks to the Biden administration’s eradication of nearly every border security measure enacted by President Donald Trump, the southern border is now becoming the next hotspot for terrorism and violence—particularly as war rages in the Middle East and Hezbollah and Hamas seek to infiltrate the United States.
According to a September report released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) analyzing the “Homeland Threat Assessment” for fiscal year 2024, “[t]errorists and criminal actors may exploit the elevated flow and increasingly complex security environment to enter the United States.”
The report further notes that “individuals with potential terrorism connections continue to attempt to enter the Homeland” as the border crisis rages onward—a shocking admission that has elicited little public acknowledgment from Democrats, White House officials, or the mainstream media.
As of July, months before the end of the 2023 fiscal year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had already encountered roughly 160 individuals on the Terrorism Watchlist—an approximately 60 percent increase in encounters from fiscal year 2022.
Even more terrifying, those numbers only represent the people apprehended by CBP. There is no telling how many more were among the estimated 1.7 million “gotaways” who have escaped completely undetected into the interior of the country.
Notably, the DHS report was released several weeks prior to Hamas’s attacks on Israel, which have only escalated concerns of potential terrorist activity within America’s borders. But even in the September report, DHS officials said they “expect continued high numbers of migrant encounters over the next year” and proceeded to mention Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah by name, noting the group has “called for revenge against the United States for [Qasem] Soleimani’s death.”
The report also acknowledged Iran’s “intent to plot attacks against current and former U.S. government officials” by relying on “individuals with pre-existing access to the United States for surveillance and lethal plotting.”
As the conflict in the Middle East continues to worsen, the risk of terrorist threats is only likely to intensify. Meanwhile, the Biden DHS is withholding key information regarding the identities of the nearly 270 terror suspects who have been apprehended at the border since Biden took office—prompting growing public concern, including a lawsuit against CBP from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
The data released by CBP, a CIS press release states, “offers very few elucidating details that would sate rising public interest and concern, such as whether some of those apprehended might be affiliated with Hamas or Hezbollah.” CBP data also fails to disclose “how the people of other origin countries might feel about any given U.S. foreign policy or intervention at any given time, as a potential indicator of danger posed by those crossing the border from those regions.”
The disaster unfolding at the border is particularly shameful given that Biden inherited the most secure border on record from former President Donald Trump.
Immediately upon entering office, Biden reversed every policy that secured the border during the Trump years—including border wall construction, deportations, and “Remain in Mexico” (which ended the practice of “catch and release” and forced illegal aliens to wait for their court hearings in their country of origin). Biden also mandated a functional shutdown of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—going so far as to implement what the administration calls “protected areas” in which ICE is not permitted to enter.
Throughout his first 100 days in office, Biden issued no less than 94 executive orders overturning the policies of the Trump administration and advancing an unashamedly open borders agenda.
The results of these actions speak for themselves: since Biden took office, nearly seven million illegal aliens have been encountered by U.S. border officials—and that figure only accounts for those who were caught. Now, Biden’s immigration policies could serve as the impetus for a terrorist incident perhaps unlike anything our nation has seen since the September 11 attacks.
The solution to the border crisis and our national security predicament—as with every other crisis inflicted by the Biden administration—should be clear. A simple return to President Trump’s “America First” immigration and border policies would quickly bring the border calamity to an end while greatly reducing any national security risks.
Yet if the last three years are any indication, Americans can likely expect the opposite.
Aaron Flanigan is the pen name of a writer in Washington, D.C.