There’s a startling follow up to my report from last November about a group of citizens from Pakistan and Afghanistan who illegally snuck across the Mexican border into Arizona three days after the Paris attacks and four days after a double suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. Now, seven months later, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has elevated the incident to a “Significant Incident Report” after news allegedly linking one of the men to terrorism.
Last November, Customs and Border Protection officials tried to keep the security breach under wraps, even from U.S. Border Patrol agents who expressed frustration and anger, and pressed their managers for information. When I asked about the incident at the time, a spokesman at the federal agency stated that the border crossers has been cleared of any ties to terrorism or other “derogatory information.” Then, just this past Friday, June 3, Customs and Border Protection filed a new “Significant Incident Report” upgrading the case, due to news that the man from Afghanistan allegedly had terrorist ties, after all.
The incident calls into question the effectiveness of screening procedures in place to vet illegal border crossers. It also adds to some federal agents’ claims that their agencies are allowing an increasingly flawed and dysfunctional system that protects and provides sanctuary and aid to possibly dangerous illegal immigrants. Immigration and border officials deny that.
The new Significant Incident Report names the group that was captured last November 16, including the Mexican guides who allegedly navigated the crossing for the Mideast citizens:
Name: Martin LOPEZ-Alvarado
Name: Ernesto DORAME-Gonzalez
Name: Hemmat ZABIULLAH
Name: Zaib MUHAMMED
Name: Haroon MUHAMMED
Name: Zia UDDIN
According to the Significant Incident Report, referred to as “SIR,” it was the news media rather than any security processes that prompted the new follow up.
“Incident was upgraded to an SIR due to National media reporting on 06/02/2016, that the Afghani subject has ties to Terrorism,” reads the report.
Last November, the report stated, “the five Nationals of Pakistan and the one National of Afghanistan were cleared of any possible alerts for terrorism. All 6 individuals will be processed for an Expedited Removal.”
At the time, according to the report, Customs and Border Protection did not notify law enforcement of the security breach, despite the fact that it was just days after major ISIS-inspired Islamic extremist terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut.
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