Tunnels used by drug dealers to sneak narcotics and cash from Mexico into the United States could also become an underground route for Islamic State terrorists to enter the country, a former FBI agent is warning.
“Drug dealers have found a way to move money without it being followed,” the former agent, Tyrone Powers, said, according a story posted by Siouxland News, the website for CBS affiliate KMEG and Fox44 in Sioux City, South Dakota. “They found a way to move people in and out and they found a way to move product.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, also a 2016 presidential candidate, agreed that “the stronger they get over there, the more power they have so I can definitely see, in the future, collaboration between terrorist groups and drug dealers to our south.”
Powers said that the individuals that could come “may be, at some point, suicide bombers, which is really scary, and then weapons of mass destruction.”
Terrorism experts believe Mexico’s unstable leadership, along with ruthless drug cartels are creating a vacuum that ISIS could exploit.
“What’s been going on in Mexico creates an opportunity for any organization to try to take advantage of it, whether it’s ISIS or Al Shabbab,” Brandon Behlendorf, a terrorist targeting strategist,commented.
There are two major drug cartels that could come into play, with the Sinaloa Federation controlling western Mexico’s borders from Texas to California, and Los Zetas, which occupies eastern Mexico, including the southern Texas border. Experts claim Al Qaeda tried to hook up with Mexican drug lords about 15 years ago, the Siouxland News report indicates.
“It makes logical sense for ISIS to do this,” said Powers. “But I do not think they’ll be catching the intelligence agencies off guard, because this has been a persistent problem whether it was Al Qaeda or any other group.”
Earlier this month, ISIS claimed it has plans to buy a nuclear weapon from Pakistan and smuggle it into the U.S., using drug and human smuggling routes already in use by Mexican and South American drug cartels.
In ISIS’s online magazine Dabiq, in an article entitled, “The Perfect Storm,” apparently written and narrated by British captive photojournalist John Cantlie, ISIS says that using “billions of dollars” it has banked, the group could purchase a nuclear device from corrupt Pakistani officials and send it on its way to explode in the U.S., the Daily Mail reports.
Further, in April, Judicial Watch reported that ISIS is operating a camp in northern Mexico just a few miles from El Paso, Texas citing sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police inspector.
Judicial Watch sources said that “coyotes” working for the notorious Juarez Cartel are involved in helping to “move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico.”
Moreover, east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed coyotes are smuggling members of the jihadi terrorist group “through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas,” Judicial Watch reported.
The group says that these locations were targeted for exploitation by ISIS “because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.”