Former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart claimed the threat of terrorism at the U.S. southern border is just a “fantasy” on CNN’s “New Day” Monday.
“Just take one step back. If you’re a terrorist, do you want to come through a border that has thousands of border control guards, that has now 15,000 or so troops there?” Lockhart said.
“You’re not coming. The — the only recorded terrorist apprehension that I know of in the last 20 years happened at the northern border around the millennium. So it’s — it’s become — we’ve become numb to it, but we saw probably the best example in a while of how they will say anything and it’s all about creating a reality that’s different than the facts. And that’s dangerous because we’re now making — we now have the government shut down based on a fantasy,” he added.
The Department of Homeland Security released a report Wednesday entitled: Stopping Terrorist Travel Through Illicit Pathways To The Homeland. In it, they refute Lockhart’s claims and outline specific terror threats that exist at the border.
The DHS referred to these potential terrorists as “special interest aliens” or SIAs and said they’re constantly looking for new and creative ways to enter the U.S. undetected.
“Offering solutions to close these routes and shut off entry ways into America for SIAs must be a priority moving forward, since some of these migrants have been affiliated with foreign terror groups and organized crime,” the report reads.
It also cited a U.S. State Department report claiming terrorists are seeking to infiltrate Latin America to take advantage of their “porous borders, limited law enforcement capabilities, and established smuggling routes.”
“These vulnerabilities offered opportunities to local and international terrorist groups and posed challenges to governments in the region,” the State Department report continued.
The Center for Immigration Studies also released a report back in late November showing at least 15 confirmed cases where members of terrorist groups were encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border, or right after they had illegally crossed.
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