Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border, law homework help

  

2 PARTSPART 1After reading “A Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border,” discuss the threats we face at the Southwest Border and the influence of transnational crime and terror organizations associated with the fight against narcotics, terrorism, and spillover violence. (attached)at least 1000 words with referencing and apa citationsPART 2comment on two (2) classmates discussion responses. Each feedback post should be 250 words or more WITH REFERENCING (APA) and add to the discussion. WITH PART 2 THE TIME WILL VARY BECAUSE I HAVE TO WAIT FOR POSTS AND THEN I WILL SEND TO YOU..NEED PART 1 BY WEDNESDAY..a_line_in_the_sand_countering_crime_2c_violence_and_terror_at_the_southwest_border_ushr.pdf
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A LINE IN THE SAND: COUNTERING CRIME,
VIOLENCE AND TERROR AT THE
SOUTHWEST BORDER
A MAJORITY REPORT
BY THE
UNITED STATES HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT, INVESTIGATIONS, AND
MANAGEMENT
REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL T. McCAUL, CHAIRMAN
ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS
SECOND SESSION
NOVEMBER 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
I. The Threats: Why Addressing Border Security Remains So Urgent ……………………………………………….. 4
A. The Continued Threat of Terrorist Infiltration ………………………………………………………………………… 4
The Increasing Importance of the Southwest Border to Terrorist Organizations ………………………….. 4
Recent Incidents of Concern ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
B. The Growing Influence of Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America ………………………………………………… 7
Hezbollah Presence in Latin America ………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Iranian Presence in Latin America ………………………………………………………………………………………… 11
Implications for United States National Security …………………………………………………………………….. 13
C. Evolving Transnational Criminal Threat along the Southwest Border ……………………………………… 15
Mexican Drug Cartel Underpinnings to Transnational Organized Crime…………………………………….. 15
The Increasing Involvement of Gangs in Transnational Criminal Activity …………………………………… 16
The Diversified Threat of Transnational Criminal Organizations ……………………………………………….. 17
Corruption of Public Officials ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
Tunnels, Ultralights and Semi-Submersibles: The Evolving Methods of Smuggling ……………………… 22
D. The Increasing Threat from Spillover Violence ……………………………………………………………………… 23
Spillover Violence against Civilians ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
Spillover Violence against Law Enforcement ………………………………………………………………………….. 24
Kidnappings: The Spillover Crime Hiding in Plain Sight…………………………………………………………….. 26
The Debate over Spillover Violence ………………………………………………………………………………………. 28
E. Illegal Alien Crimes against U.S. Citizens ………………………………………………………………………………. 29
The Impact of Illegal Immigration on Public Safety and Good Public Order ……………………………….. 29
Criminal Aliens in Jails and Prisons ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 30
Examples of Crimes Involving Illegal Aliens ……………………………………………………………………………. 31
II. Confronting the Threats: Current Enforcement Initiatives …………………………………………………………. 32
A. Mexico Declares War on the Drug Cartels ……………………………………………………………………………. 32
The Current Cartel Landscape ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 32
The Beginnings of Conflict …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34
The Brutal Violence of the War on Cartels …………………………………………………………………………….. 35
The Criminal Diversification of the Cartels …………………………………………………………………………….. 37
The Sinaloa, La Familia Michoacána and Gulf Cartels Unite to Take on the Zetas ……………………….. 38
Cartel Violence, Insurgency and a Failed State ……………………………………………………………………….. 39
The Future of the Conflict ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 40
B. Texas Border Security Initiatives …………………………………………………………………………………………. 41
C. Federal Border Security Efforts……………………………………………………………………………………………. 42
The Secure Border Initiative ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42
The Merida Initiative …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 43
The Border Enforcement Security Task Forces ……………………………………………………………………….. 44
National Guard Assistance on the Border………………………………………………………………………………. 45
The DHS Accountability Act of 2012 ……………………………………………………………………………………… 46
III. Conclusion: Recommendations for Moving Forward with Border Security ………………………………… 46
Major Findings ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 49
Appendix A: Subcommittee Chairman McCaul Letter to National Security Advisor on Congressional
Delegation Findings …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 50
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The first edition of A Line in the Sand, released in 2006, (hereafter “first edition”) exposed the
rising threat of Mexican drug cartels and the vulnerabilities of our porous Southwest border. The
horrific violence perpetrated by Mexican drug cartels continues to grow and, in many cases
documented in this report, spills into the United States. The cartels now have a presence in more
than 1,000 U.S. cities and dominate the wholesale illicit drug trade by controlling the movement
of most of the foreign-produced drug supply across the Southwest border.1 This report
documents the increased operational control of the cartels inside the United States, their strategy
to move illegal drugs, and the bloody turf wars that have taken place between rival cartels, as
they struggle to control valuable trafficking corridors. Collectively, Mexican Drug Trafficking
Organizations (DTO) maintain firm control of drug and human smuggling routes across the U.S.Mexico border creating safe entry for anyone willing to pay the price. The U.S. Department of
Homeland Security, in its most recent assessment, asserts it can control only 44 percent of our
border with Mexico.2
Terrorism remains a serious threat to the security of the United States. The Congressional
Research Service reports that between September 2001 and September 2012, there have been 59
homegrown violent jihadist plots within the United States. Of growing concern and potentially a
more violent threat to American citizens is the enhanced ability of Middle East terrorist
organizations, aided by their relationships and growing presence in the Western Hemisphere, to
exploit the Southwest border to enter the United States undetected. This second edition
emphasizes America’s ever-present threat from Middle East terrorist networks, their increasing
presence in Latin America, and the growing relationship with Mexican DTOs to exploit paths
into the United States.
During the period of May 2009 through July 2011, federal law enforcement made 29 arrests for
violent terrorist plots against the United States, most with ties to terror networks or Muslim
extremist groups in the Middle East. The vast majority of the suspects had either connections to
special interest countries, including those deemed as state sponsors of terrorism or were
radicalized by terrorist groups such as al Qaeda. American-born al Qaeda Imam Anwar al
Awlaki, killed in 2011, was personally responsible for radicalizing scores of Muslim extremists
around the world. The list includes American-born U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan, the accused
Fort Hood gunman; “underwear bomber” Umar Faruk Abdulmutallab; and Barry Bujol of
Hempstead, TX, convicted of providing material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In
several documented cases, al Awlaki moved his followers to commit “jihad” against the United
States. These instances, combined with recent events involving the Qods Forces, the terrorist
arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Hezbollah, serve as a stark reminder the
United States remains in the crosshairs of terrorist organizations and their associates.
Department of Justice, National Drug Intelligence Center, National Drug Threat Assessment for 2011.
Congress, House, Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security,
Securing our Borders – Operational Control and the Path Forward, 112th Cong. 15 February 2011. (Written
testimony of Richard M. Stana, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Government Accountability
Office).
1
2
2
In May of 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported that intelligence gleaned from the 2011 raid on
Osama bin Laden’s compound indicated the world’s most wanted terrorist sought to use
operatives with valid Mexican passports who could illegally cross into the United States to
conduct terror operations.3 The story elaborated that bin Laden recognized the importance of al
Qaeda operatives blending in with American society but felt that those with U.S. citizenship who
then attacked the United States would be violating Islamic law. Of equal concern is the
possibility to smuggle materials, including uranium, which can be safely assembled on U.S. soil
into a weapon of mass destruction.
Further, the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, and the uncertainty of whether Israel
might attack Iran drawing the United States into a confrontation, only heightens concern that Iran
or its agents would attempt to exploit the porous Southwest border for retaliation.
Confronting the threat at the Southwest border has
In May of 2012, the Los Angeles Times
a broader meaning today than it did six years ago.
reported that intelligence gleaned from the
As this report explains, the United States tightened
2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s
security at airports and land ports of entry in the
compound indicated the world’s most
wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks,
wanted terrorist sought to use operatives
with valid Mexican passports who could
but the U.S.-Mexico border is an obvious weak link
illegally cross into the United States to
in the chain. Criminal elements could migrate down
conduct terror operations.
this path of least resistance, and with them the
terrorists who continue to seek our destruction. The
federal government must meet the challenge to secure America’s unlocked back door from the
dual threat of drug cartels and terrorist organizations who are lined up, and working together, to
enter.
One of the central criticisms made by the 9/11 Commission regarding the September 11, 2001
terrorist attacks was a failure of imagination in piecing together the threat picture from al-Qaeda
before it was too late. Recognizing and proactively confronting threats has presented a perennial
challenge to our country. In the case of the Cuban missile crisis, we failed to deal with the
Soviet threat before it resulted in a full-blown crisis that threatened nuclear war. Now we are
faced with a new threat in Latin America that comes from the growing collaborations between
Iran, Venezuela, Hezbollah and transnational criminal organizations. Similar to the Cuban
missile crisis, the evidence to compel action exists; the only question is whether we possess the
imagination to connect the dots before another disaster strikes. The intent of this report is to
present that evidence, not to incite anxiety, but rather to reinvigorate vigilance towards our
Southwest border and beyond to the threats we face in Latin America.
3
“Bin Laden apparently sought operative with valid Mexican passport”, The Los Angeles Times, May 2, 2012.
3
I. THE THREATS: WHY ADDRESSING BORDER SECURITY
REMAINS SO URGENT
A. THE CONTINUED THREAT OF TERRORIST INFILTRATION
The first edition discussed numerous concerns regarding the vulnerability of the Southwest
border to infiltration by terrorist organizations. Though there have been many improvements in
our border security since that time, these concerns still largely persist.
U.S. Government officials who are directly responsible for our national security continue to
affirm the vulnerability. In August 2007 former Director of National Intelligence Mike
McConnell stated that not only have terrorists used the Southwest border to enter the United
States but that they will inevitably continue to do so as long as it is an available possibility. 4 In a
July 2012 hearing before the full U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland
Security, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed that terrorists have crossed the Southwest
border with the intent to harm the American people.5
Additionally, the U.S. Border Patrol regularly apprehends aliens from the 35 “special interest”
countries “designated by our intelligence community as countries that could export individuals
that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism.”6 From Fiscal Years 2006 to 2011,
there were 1,918 apprehensions of these special interest aliens at our Southwest border.7
THE INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF THE SOUTHWEST BORDER TO TERRORIST
ORGANIZATIONS
The September 11th terrorist attacks demonstrated
with catastrophic clarity the deficiencies in the
process of preventing terrorists from entering the
United States. After all, the nineteen 9/11 hijackers
did not sneak into our country surreptitiously in the
remote Arizona desert but rather entered in plain sight at international airports as visiting
students or tourists using visas that had been obtained fraudulently.8
Experts believe the Southwest border has
now become the greatest threat of terrorist
infiltration into the United States.
As part of a strategy to constrain the international travel of terrorists, the 9/11 Commission
recommended that a computer system be developed which would identify foreign travelers and
check them against terrorist and criminal databases.9 This recommendation was realized in
Transcript: Debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Chris Roberts with the El Paso Times,
August 22, 2007, http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_6685679
5 Edwin Mora, “Napolitano: Terrorist Enter U.S. from Mexico ‘From Time to Time’,” CNSNews.com, July 30,
2012.
6 U.S. Border Patrol memorandum OBP 50/8b-P, November 1, 2004.
7 Information provided by Congressional Research Service
8 The 9/11 Commission Report
9 Id.
4
4
January of 2004 when the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (USVISIT) system began deployment at our ports of entry. US-VISIT scans the fingerprints of
foreign visitors and checks them against numerous criminal and intelligence databases to include
enemy combatants captured on the battlefield.
Besides US-VISIT, there is also much greater scrutiny of individuals seeking a visa to travel to
the United States. Now Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents work sideby-side with State Department employees at strategic foreign posts helping them screen visa
applicants to weed out criminals and terrorists before they even attempt to travel to our shores.
As part of their strategy for attack, terrorists analyze the defenses of their target and plan
accordingly.10 Just as increased air marshals, reinforced cockpit doors and armed pilots have
forever changed the proposition of hijacking a commercial airliner, the aforementioned security
measures have made conventional travel by terrorists much more risky. Sophisticated terror
networks like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah are well aware of this and would surely consider
alternative methods of travel in order to increase their chances for success.
This is why experts believe the Southwest border has now become the greatest threat of terrorist
infiltration into the United States.11 Terrorists know they do not need a visa to illegally cross the
Southwest border and that US-VISIT is nowhere to be found miles away from a port of entry.
They also know that there are well-established criminal networks along the Southwest border
that are very successful at smuggling humans and weapons.12 This gives terrorists once again a
high level of surety that they can surreptitiously plan elaborate and expensive attacks that may
take years to execute and require a long-term presence inside the United States.
RECENT INCIDENTS OF CONCERN
The apprehension of Said Jaziri
On January 11, 2011, Border Patrol agents working in a rural area of eastern San Diego County,
California encountered Said Jaziri in the trunk of a vehicle as he was in the process of being
smuggled across the Southwest border. Jaziri told patrol agents that he had flown from Tunisia
to Mexico by way of Spain, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize. Jaziri eventually found his way
to Tijuana where he paid a human smuggling operation $5,000 to get him across the Southwest
border and to a safe place anywhere in the United States.13
Jaziri is a citizen of Tunisia which is one of the special interest countries that have been
designated as potential sources of terrorism. In 2007, Jaziri was deported from Canada for not
disclosing on his refugee application that while in France he had been convicted and deported for
Todd Steinmetz, “Mitigating the Exploitation of U.S. Borders by Jihadists and Criminal Organizations,”
Journal of Strategic Security, Volume 4 Issue 3 2011.
11 The Weaponization of Immigration, by Cato, Center for Immigration Studies, February 2008
12 Congress, Senate, Select Committee on Intelligence, Current and Projected National Security Threats to the
United States, 109th Cong. 16 February 2005 (Written statement of Admiral James Loy, Deputy Secretary, U.S.
Department of Homeland Security).
13 Criminal Complaint, U.S. v Kenneth Robert Lawler, et al, United States District Court for the Southern
District of California, Case Number 3:11-cr-00378-H
10
5
assaulting an individual whom he believed to be a less-devout Muslim.14 In 2006, Jaziri called
for the death of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard over cartoon depictions of the Prophet
Mohammed that Jaziri considered to be blasphemous.15
The Ahmed Dhakane Human Smuggling Operation
On April 29, 2011, Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane was convicted in the United States District
Court for the Western District of Texas for making false statements while seeking asylum in the
United States. Dhakane, a citizen of Somalia, another special interest country, failed to disclose
to DHS officials that he was affiliated with the Somali organizations al-Barakat and Al-Ittihad
Al-Islami (AIAI) which have been placed on the Specially Designated Global Terrorists list by
the U.S. Department of Treasury.16
During the investigation, Dhakane told law enforcement agents that he ran a large-scale
smuggling operation out of Brazil that specialized in smuggling East Africans into th …
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