Source: Judicial Watch, September 7, 2018
Yet another group of migrants from a terrorist nation managed to infiltrate the United States through Mexico this week. Thankfully, the Border Patrol apprehended them, though it’s becoming a crisis largely ignored by the mainstream media. The men are from Bangladesh, a south Asian Islamic country that’s well known as a recruiting ground for terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Earlier this year Judicial Watch reported on the epidemic of Bangladeshi nationals getting smuggled into the country via the porous southern border, especially through Texas, which is where this week’s group got nabbed.
The five men were walking near the Rio Grande when Border Patrol agents from the Laredo sector stopped them, according to a local media outlet. After questioning, federal agents confirmed the men are from Bangladesh and they were “processed accordingly.” The news brief reveals that the Laredo sector has apprehended 609 Bangladeshi nationals since the start of the fiscal year. Though already an alarming figure, it’s likely to grow until security along the southern border is adequate. In fact, the numbers have already increased dramatically in the short time since Judicial Watch reported on the crisis of Bangladeshi nationals entering through Mexico in May. At the time, the Laredo sector had recorded 209 Bangladeshi nationals apprehended at the border during the fiscal year. In a press release Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that “the Laredo Sector Border Patrol continues to have the highest apprehension of Bangladeshi Nationals compared to other Border Patrol Sectors.”
This is not to be taken lightly. Back in 2016 the State Department warned of a “significant increase in terrorist activity” in Bangladesh, most notably carried out by ISIS and AQIS. That year ISIS claimed responsibility for 18 attacks in Bangladesh, including a July 1 attack on a restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave, which killed 22 people. The terrorists spared hostages who could demonstrate that they were Muslim by reciting verses from the Koran, according to the State Department. “The other attacks were generally machete attacks on individuals from minority groups or law enforcement entities,” the agency said. Earlier this year the Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) added ISIS-Bangladesh to its sanctions list by inserting the group in the government’s growing Counter Terrorism Designations list. It is part of a broader government plan to defeat ISIS by, among other things, denying access to the U.S. financial system.
A multitude of news and academic reports have also documented the growing terrorism threat in Bangladesh. The country has a large amount of Islamist violence, according to a report published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, and is plagued by illicit financial transfers typically used by terrorist groups. “It is suspected that militants regularly tap into these illegal money flows to fund their operations,” the report states. “More than $1 billion in taxable goods is smuggled into the country from India, and analysts believe that some of this money ends up in the hands of terrorist groups. This is also the case with small arms sales, drugs and counterfeit U.S. dollars that enter Bangladesh from neighboring Myanmar and the Golden Triangle.” Last year a Bangladeshi man (Akayed Ullah) in the U.S. with a chain migration family visa tried to detonate a pipe bomb in a crowded New York subway corridor.
Besides Bangladesh, a growing number of illegal aliens from terrorist nations—including Pakistan and Afghanistan—have tried to enter the U.S. through Mexico in the last few years. In 2015 Judicial Watch reported that dozens of them were held in a Texas Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) processing center after coming to the U.S. illegally through Mexico. One of the detainees who is a national of Bangladesh said he arrived in El Paso after traveling from South American to Juarez, Mexico. At the time, the U.S. had just issued a terrorism alert warning that militants in Bangladesh may be targeting westerners. Years ago, Judicial Watch also reported that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling foreigners from countries with terrorist links into a small Texas rural town near El Paso. The foreigners are classified as Special Interest Aliens (SIA) by the U.S. government.