In a written statement to the New York Times, the Department of Homeland Security denied that there was “credible evidence” to believe Islamic State terrorists could use the porous southern border to cross into the United States and wage terror attacks. While Democrats defend the sentiment, few question security at the even less protected northern border.
The New York Times notes that evidence indicates that Islamic State mujahideen have traveled to Mexico and have plans to”imminently” launch car bomb attacks. The paper adds that federal law enforcement appears to be on a “heightened state of alert,” and nonetheless, the Department of Homeland Security and many Democrats deny that the threat exists.
“There is no credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border,” Homeland Security officials said in a statement. Instead of focusing on the border, Homeland Security is allegedly attempting to keep Westerners with American, UK, and Australian passports who have left to fight in Syria out of the United States. Over 400 British citizens and about 100 Americans are believed to be fighting in Syria and Iraq on behalf of the jihadist terror group, according to recent estimates.
Meanwhile, Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat, tells the newspaper that such fears are ill-founded, and that the United States has “a longstanding history in this country of projecting whatever fears we have onto the border.”
Some evidence points to the Islamic State showing little interest in Mexico. For example, while Islamic State propaganda outlet Al Hayat Media has featured jihadists from all over the world–from Australia to Indonesia to Bosnia and Herzegovina–the only prominent Latin American jihadist featured so far is a man named Bastián Vásquez, nom de guerre Abu Safiyya, who hails from Chile.
One country the Islamic State has made significant efforts to infiltrate, however, is Canada. Canadian jihadists are a significant contingent of the Islamic State Western population, and the group has targeted the nation in its propaganda videos. In one particularly egregious attempt to recruit Canadian jihadists, the Islamic State released a tribute video to dead jihadist André Poulin, a Canadian, using footage of the man explaining why he left Canada to fight for the Islamic State. Poulin describes his early days watching hockey and fishing and concludes that jihad is much more fulfilling than Canadian life.
Moderate Muslims in the country have also raised the alarm that their congregations are being infiltrated by terrorist groups. Pacifist Canadian leader Syed Soharwardy, founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC), received death threats from extremists for calling attention to their recruitment. “Absolutely I am convinced that this recruitment is going on right here in this country, under our noses, in our universities, in our colleges, in the places of worship, in our community,” he told Canadian public television. Canadian citizens are so at risk for being radicalized by Islamist terrorist elements that the mother of one slain Islamic State jihadist has founded a support group for Western families struggling to cope with the loss of their child to jihad, and for those who fear their children are being radicalized and hope to prevent them from leaving to Iraq and Syria.
While the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged and dismissed the threat from the southern border, it has not even done as much with the potential jihadist threat from Canada.