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Rep. Allen West recently gave an awesome speech to the Center for Security Policy.

While it seems that our media can only focus on one “crisis” at a time, Allen West never takes his eye off of all the threats to U.S. national security.

No teleprompter, you’ll notice. The man is a walking encyclopedia, and he can communicate.

What Paul Ryan does for budget issues, Allen West does for national security.

Hat Tip: Big Peace

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Oh, if only Osama bin Laden’s death could solve all our problems. No doubt we’ve dealt a serious blow to al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, Hezbollah, which has cells over the Western Hemisphere — including within U.S. borders — is an even greater long-term danger to us than al-Qaeda is.

In case anyone needs a refresher, Hezbollah is the Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization that has dominated Lebanon for many years, having made its first huge splash in 1983, when its suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut killed 241 Americans. Since then, Hezbollah has spread all over the world, and has pulled off some very high-profile terrorist attacks, including the bombing of the largest Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994, and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1998.

Hezbollah has had a growing presence in South America for over twenty years, with its heaviest concentration in the remote, lawless wildlands of South America’s “Tri-Border Area” (TBA), where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay intersect. Although Hezbollah’s chief target is the United States of America, few Americans are even aware of the group’s large and growing presence in our hemisphere. The fact that Iran is now building missile bases in Venezuela has perhaps gotten a few more people’s attention — but the media is not devoting to it anything like the coverage that its significance deserves.

If all that weren’t bad enough, Hezbollah is in Mexico, is actively and successfully recruiting there, and now we find out that its reach extends as far northward as Tijuana. Maybe I missed it, but as far as I can tell, virtually nobody is covering this. There’s one lone TV station down in San Diego that broke the story — and other than a mention on the Fox News website, and a few conservative blogs, the story has gone down a black hole. Barack Obama certainly didn’t mention it when he delivered his little “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, bitter clingers!” speech last week in El Paso.

From Channel 10 News in San Diego:

A terrorist organization whose home base is in the Middle East has established another home base across the border in Mexico.

“They [Hezbollah] are recognized by many experts as the ‘A’ team of Muslim terrorist organizations,” a former U.S. intelligence agent told 10News.

From Small Wars Journal, we get the following account that illustrates just how sophisticated Hezbollah is:

Recently, FBI agents went to the Tri-Border Area on a covert mission, only informing a select few officials of the host country with little time before arriving. Hezbollah faxed the FBI New York office pictures of their agents de-boarding their plane, just minutes after it happened. ―The implicit message was clear: We know you‘re here. We‘re watching. It was a classic example of Hezbollah‘s superb counterintelligence, another reason why American officials consider the group so dangerous.

This is what we’re up against, folks. And they’re not just down in the wilds of South America any more. According to the former intelligence agent who spoke to 10News San Diego:

The group is now active much closer to San Diego. “We are looking at 15 or 20 years that Hezbollah has been setting up shop in Mexico.”

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. policy has focused on al-Qaeda and its offshoots. “They [al-Qaeda] are more shooters than thinkers … it’s a lot of muscles, courage, desire but not a lot of training.”

Hezbollah, he said, is far more advanced.

“Their operators are far more skilled … they are the equals of Russians, Chinese or Cubans,” he said. “I consider Hezbollah much more dangerous in that sense because of strategic thinking; they think more long-term.”

Hezbollah has operated in South America for decades and then Central America, along with their sometime rival, sometime ally Hamas.

Now, the group is blending into Shi’a Muslim communities in Mexico, including Tijuana.

Until a few months ago, when I first started researching Hezbollah’s activities in Latin America, I didn’t even know there were Shi’a Muslim communities in Mexico. But indeed there are — in part, emigres from Muslim countries; in part, Mexican converts to Islam. The 10News story continues:

Other [Hezbollah] pockets along the U.S.-Mexico border region remain largely unidentified as U.S. intelligence agencies are focused on the drug trade .

“They have had clandestine training in how to live in foreign hostile territories,” the agent said.

The agent, who has spent years deep undercover in Mexico, said Hezbollah is partnering with drug organizations, but which ones is not clear at this time.

He told 10News the group receives cartel cash and protection in exchange for Hezbollah expertise.

“From money laundering to firearms training and explosives training,” the agent said.

For example, he tracked, along with Mexican intelligence, two Hezbollah operatives in safe houses in Tijuana and Durango.

“I confirmed the participation of cartel members as well as other Hezbollah individuals living and operating out of there,” he said.

One of the things that is crucial to know about Hezbollah is that, although they are affiliated with Iran, each cell is set up to be self-sufficient with respect to personnel and funding. By and large, once a cell is established, it is not getting financial support from Iran. Each cell raises its own funds. This is why Hezbollah has gotten involved with the drug and human-trafficking cartels, along with currency-trading, import-export, and document-forging operations: These are money-makers.

But it’s a two-way street. The drug cartels give Hezbollah a piece of the action with the drug and human-trafficking trades, but on the other hand, Hezbollah’s particular specialties are useful to the Mexican cartels.

Tunnels the cartels have built that cross from Mexico into the U.S. have grown increasingly sophisticated. It is a learned skill, the agent said, [that] points to Hezbollah’s involvement.

“Where are the knowledgeable tunnel builders? Certainly in the Middle East,” he said.

Why have Americans not heard more about Hezbollah’s activities happening so close to the border?

That’s a very, very good question. Could it be (as I suspect) just good old-fashioned denial — i.e., we’re dealing with a threat so horrible, and seemingly so intractable, that deep down, we really just don’t want to know? A variation on that is that news media — and the interests that control them — are afraid of creating a panic. Regrettable, but understandable.

“If they [Hezbollah] really wanted to start blowing stuff up, they could do it,” the agent said.

According to the agent, the organization sees the U.S. as their “cash cow,” with illegal drug and immigration operations. Many senior Hezbollah leaders are wealthy businessmen, the agent said.

“The money they are sending back to Lebanon is too important right now to jeopardize those operations.”

The agent said the real concern is the group’s long-term goal of radicalizing Muslim communities.

“They’re focusing on developing … infiltrating communities within North America.”

Counterterrorism professionals tell us that Hezbollah already has cells in the United States. And we know that their operatives are continuing to enter the U.S. via Mexico. Obama and others like to make it sound as if Mexicans are the only people coming over our unsecured border. But every year, thousands of OTMs (other than Mexican) cross the border as well. According to the Dept. of Homeland Security,

federal law enforcement agencies detained 791,568 deportable aliens in fiscal year 2008 – and 5,506 of them were from 14 “special-interest countries”… Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen … [and terror sponsors] Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran.

Although only three of the thirteen Muslim countries on that list are listed as “terror sponsors,” Yemen is now al-Qaeda’s strongest base of operations, Somalia is the home base of the vicious terrorist group al-Shabaab, and we hardly need comment on the terror groups based in, funded by, or otherwise connected with Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Now consider: If border security personnel managed to catch 5,506, how many successfully got through without being caught?

The problem is bad enough that even Eric Holder’s Justice Department admits that terrorists have been crossing our borders.

There are nearly 2,000 mosques in the U.S.. Even if only one percent of them shelter Hezbollah operatives, that would still be 20 American cities that could be attacked simultaneously if the command went out.

Just the imaginative figments of spy-thriller authors? Hardly. This is actually the way Hezbollah works, according to counterterrorism expert Cyrus Miryetka. Hezbollah cells play “the long game,” biding their time for years or decades, waiting for the signal to do what they’ve trained for years to do. When the signal comes, we could see multiple Beirut-barracks type bombings. Or Mumbai-style massacres. Or Beslan-type massacres of schoolchildren. Or some combination of all the above. Or something we haven’t seen before and can’t even imagine. But the one thing we can almost surely count on, according to intelligence experts, is that it would be multiple attacks in multiple cities happening nearly simultaneously.

A useful analogy is red imported fire ants. Anyone who’s lived in the southern U.S. will know what I’m talking about. The tactic of those vicious, meat-eating insects — which have killed off much of the ground-nesting bird population in Texas and other states, and have even killed larger animals such as calves — is to crawl up your leg by the dozens or hundreds before you even know they’re on you — and then, upon the release of a pheromone signal by the first one to sting, they all sting simultaneously. The pain is excruciating.

Right now, Hezbollah operatives are figuratively crawling up our leg, infiltrating one cell after another into our country, getting in place, getting ready, awaiting the signal.

Frightening, depressing stuff — no wonder nobody wants to talk about it. But if a wildfire were headed directly toward your home as you slept, wouldn’t you want someone to call and wake you up, so you could survive, and possibly even save your home? We may be in for tragic events, but surely our odds of surviving or even preventing them are better if we’re aware and informed about the danger. Forewarned is forearmed.

So, what to do?

  • Insist that our elected officials cease their willful ignorance of this problem, fulfill their constitutional duty to inform themselves about the enemy within, and in turn, inform the public. We have been bound and gagged by leftist-imposed “political correctness”; those gags need to come off, and quickly.
  • Immediately shut down all jihadist training camps in the United States. It is scandalous that people openly training for the violent overthrow of the United States are permitted to operate here at all. On the contrary, these people should be put on trial for sedition and punished accordingly. And the people living in nearby communities should be alerted to the camps’ existence. It’s simply wrong to keep people in the dark about the presence of such dangerous enemies in their vicinity. We have laws requiring that people be notified about sexual predators in their neighborhood; why not about people who mean to kill them and their children?
  • Vigorously investigate every mosque and Islamic center in the United States. Numerous intrepid researchers have already documented the nefarious purposes for which these centers are used. Shut down the guilty ones and deport their imams. Again, “political correctness” is just a euphemism for national suicide. We are facing a threat to our continued existence, both as a country and as individuals “guilty” of being “infidels.”
  • Last but certainly not least : Seal the borders. (Mexico first, but don’t forget Canada.)

There are many more tactics in an effective strategy; these are just the most obvious ones to an amateur. Our intelligence agencies will know full well what to do; we just need to listen to them, and to free our law-enforcement personnel to implement life-saving measures.

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We said this would happen.

We said this was already happening.

Even the Dept. of Justice now admits: We were right.

Pajamas Media broke the story yesterday.

A potentially explosive admission by federal prosecutors in the pending sentencing of Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane in a San Antonio federal courtroom could aid the case of border states looking to take the initiative to stem the flood of illegal immigrants coming into the U.S.

In this court filing… prosecutors admit that Dhakane, who ran a human smuggling ring based in Brazil for the Somali Al-Shabaab terrorist group, transported “violent jihadists” into the country. He stated that “he believed they would fight against the U.S. if the jihad moved from overseas locations to the U.S. mainland.” (p. 7)

And Dhakane is just the latest one that we know about. There have been many others.

Just last year Homeland Security authorities put out an alert concerning a group of terror-tied Somalis who were attempting to enter the country through Mexico. Then last May another terror alert was issued for a known Al-Shabaab official, Mohamed Ali, who was suspected of trying to cross the border from Mexico. And in February 2010, a Virginia convert to Islam who was in contact with Al-Shabaab officials, Anthony Joseph Tracy, was charged for his role in an international smuggling ring that brought at least 200 Somalis into the U.S. on Cuban travel documents.

Other terrorist operatives are known to have successfully crossed the border:

  • In February 2001, Mahmoud Kourani crossed the border from Tijuana in the trunk of a car, eventually settling in Dearborn, Michigan. Kourani, who federal prosecutors claimed had received training in weapons, intelligence, and spy craft in Iran, bribed a Mexican embassy official in Beirut to obtain a visa. Kourani’s brother is known to be Hezbollah’s security chief in southern Lebanon.
  • In December 2002, Salim Boughader was arrested for smuggling 200 Lebanese, including Hezbollah operatives, across the border. Boughader had previously worked for Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV satellite network.
  • In July 2004, Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed was arrested at a Texas airport boarding a flight to New York. According to the Washington Post, she was connected to a Pakistani terrorist group. Believed to be ferrying instructions to U.S.-based al-Qaeda operatives, authorities issued a terror alert for Washington D.C., New York, and New Jersey.
  • In January 2005, two Hamas operatives, Mahmoud Khalil and Ziad Saleh, were arrested as part of a criminal enterprise in Los Angeles. Both had entered the U.S. after paying a smuggler $10,000 each to take them across the border.
  • Rep. John Culberson said in November 2005 that an Iraqi al-Qaeda operative on the terror watch list was captured living near the Mexico-Texas border.

Hezbollah have been known by the Mexican and U.S. governments to operate in Mexico City. Mexican converts to Islam, whose numbers are increasing alarmingly, have adopted many political viewpoints common in the Muslim Middle East, such as anti-Jewish ideology and support for Hamas.

Two factors are particularly aggravating the danger: the refusal of the federal government to enforce the border; and the increasing cooperation between Latin American drug cartels and terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.

With cartel violence already spilling across the border, and U.S. Border Patrol agents armed with beanbags being gunned down in the field by smuggling operatives, when might we see terrorist groups attempting to open up a new front against the U.S. across the vast stretches of our unguarded border?… As DOJ has admitted in the Dhakane case, terrorist operatives are already inside the U.S. and are prepared to go operational at the command of their leadership. If the issue of homegrown terrorism is already keeping Attorney General Eric Holder awake at night, why aren’t similar concerns being translated into action to defend Americans from cross-border terror threats?

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I’m running this piece about Obama’s State of the Union address a bit belatedly, I admit, but before today, I did not know of this author, Michael Connelly, an army veteran and law professor in Texas. His brilliant, incisive assessment of our nation’s national security, written right before the civil unrest broke out in Egypt, is even more ominous now that we’re facing a potential Muslim Brotherhood takeover in that country.

[W]hat struck me as the most worrisome aspect of the speech was not so much what Obama said, but what he didn’t say. In a sixty-two minute speech he waited until the last few minutes to even mention foreign policy and national security and when he did, he seemed to find the subject quite boring and mundane.

While members of our armed forces are fighting and dying in Afghanistan and elsewhere every day to defeat the terrorist enemies who want to destroy us, the whole thing was just briefly and casually mentioned by our Commander in Chief. He did thank our troops for their sacrifices, while at the same time reassuring our enemies in Afghanistan that we will began withdrawing our troops later this year. I’m sure the applause among the Taliban and al-Qaida leaders who were watching the speech was much more enthusiastic than any applause by our members of Congress.

In fact, the President seemed most enthusiastic when he mentioned the fact that the don’t ask and don’t tell policy regarding gays in the military had been repealed. This was wildly applauded by the progressives in the room, but the men in command of the American military sat stone faced and silent in front of the President. They know how much damage doing something like this in the middle of a war is going to have on the morale of our troops.

The President also paid scant attention in the speech to the fact that Iran will soon have nuclear weapons and that the North Koreans, who already have such weapons, are acting crazier and more belligerent than ever. His overall plan for these countries is to continue to beg them to “play nice.” His speech also pointedly ignored the fact that China is rapidly increasing the size of its military and now has a stealth fighter as well as missile technology that can destroy our aircraft carriers. However, he touted the passage of the START treaty with Russia that lowers our defenses against nuclear attack while doing nothing to limit the Chinese.

At the same time, Obama has ignored the fact that our enemies such as Iran, Libya, and Venezuela are deliberately forcing up the price of oil in order to damage our economy. We are presently buying half of our oil from countries that have no love for us, yet the only thing Obama said about this crisis in the speech was that he plans on ending tax breaks for domestic oil companies and spending more on vague and unspecified “clean energy.” When coupled with his refusal to issue new drilling permits the outcome will mean that soon we will be producing less than one-third of the energy we need and the price of a gallon of gas could easily reach $5.00 by next year. This is a threat not only to our economy, but to our national security.

Finally, does anyone recall the President even mentioning the chaos on our border with Mexico? He made one vague reference to working with both parties to secure our borders, but he ended that with another apparent push to grant amnesty to those who have already broken our laws and entered our country illegally. The fact is that the violence among the Mexican drug cartels is spilling over into our country and Americans are dying in the crossfire. While this is happening there is growing evidence that hundreds of illegal aliens from nations that support Islamic terrorism are also entering our country.

Obama’s response to this is to decrease our border security and allow many entry points to be unpatrolled by both State and Federal authorities. However, he is prepared to make one bold move. His administration will soon be proposing new gun control laws that will limit the rights of law abiding American citizens to purchase weapons to protect themselves and their homes. It will have no effect whatsoever on the ability of the drug cartel soldiers and the terrorists to acquire weapons, but it will make the progressives happy.

The bottom line is that our country is being rendered defenseless by the people who are charged in the Constitution to protect our nation and its people. As a result, the violence on our borders will increase and our enemies will be encouraged to increase their efforts to attack us around the world and on our own soil. I’m afraid that this could be a very dangerous year for the people of the United States.

Hat tip:  Jan C.

Linked by:  Marine Patriot and The Old Jarhead   Thanks!

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Maybe it was writing about Charles Manson the other day.

Or maybe it was reading about the carnage in the Juarez valley, just across the Texas border, or the arrest of a 14-year-old hit man near Cuernavaca, or the horrific increase in not only murders, but specifically, beheadings all over Mexico.

For whatever reason, Mark Kilroy has been much on my mind lately.

He was a handsome young man, smart, fun and friendly. Do you remember? Or was it just those of us who lived in Texas at the time who were traumatized then and are still haunted by it now, 22 years later? Mark was a pre-med student at the University of Texas (which I’d attended for a while) and hailed from a little town less than an hour’s drive from where I lived at the time. Maybe that’s why I identified so strongly with him. The way I remember it, though, everyone in Texas came to see Mark as one of their own.  After he suddenly disappeared in Matamoros, just over the Mexican border from Brownsville, TX,  it was headline news for weeks; every time we opened the paper or turned on the TV, we’d see a picture of that young face so full of life, with his whole life ahead of him and obviously looking forward to it.

What happened to him is too horrible for me to recount in detail.  You can read the full story here, if you have the stomach for it.  To recap as briefly as I can, the weeks-long search for Mark finally ended when police found what was left of his body on a God-forsaken ranch where a Satanic, voodoo-type cult had killed dozens of people over several years. The beautiful young man had been tortured, mutilated, offered as a human sacrifice, and cannibalized. The cultists were drug dealers, who believed that their sacrifices to the devil obtained magical powers for them that would make them able to operate with impunity. In fact, investigators only discovered the cult’s site because they’d been pursuing a drug trafficker who unwittingly led them right to it since he believed that his black magic had made him invisible, and therefore untouchable by officers of the law.

Once the case was solved, and the perpetrators hunted down and imprisoned, we, the public, mourned and eventually moved on. We thought that this was one of those occasional outbreaks of pure evil, like the Jim Jones cult in Guyana, and that this macabre chain of events had no implications for the future.

Little did we know. Seventeen years later, in 2006, decapitations — with severed heads displayed for maximum terrorizing effect on local populations — began to become commonplace among the Mexican drug cartels, each gang trying to outdo the other in horror. Some observers speculate that videos posted on the Internet by Al-Qaeda In Iraq at that time may have inspired the practice. Others wonder if the slayers have been influenced by bloody rituals practiced in the region back in pre-Columbian times.

Whatever its roots, there appears no end in sight to the current wave of decapitations. [Luis] Astorga [author of several books on the drug cartels] fears that even worse atrocities lie ahead. “Who knows what perverse methods these assassins might use to get one up over their rivals,” he says. “Many are military killers but without the army command to hold them back. Their only limits are what they can imagine or what they can find in the most violent Hollywood movies.”

I can’t deal with this much grimness and horror without looking for a ray of hope.  I’ll be honest. I find my hope in the lordship of Jesus Christ over the world. Regardless of how crappy things look sometimes, the final victory really is His. Mark Kilroy’s parents, Jim and Helen, will tell you so themselves. Enduring an ordeal no parent should ever face, they drew on their deep religious faith during the search and afterwards. After it was all over, they were determined to bring good out of unfathomable evil.

Jim and Helen Kilroy work closely with the Mark Kilroy Foundation and its mission: the prevention of substance abuse, providing about 600 youths with free educational and sport activities, counseling, concerts and summer camps….

Since drugs were at the root of their son’s death at the hands of drug traffickers, they take every opportunity to counsel against substance abuse. Concerned residents started the foundation shortly after Mark’s death.

“We were still in shock and not really over our grieving, and as things progressed, it developed into a nice organization that gets lots of things done,” Jim Kilroy said. “Lots of people work on it.”

Helen Kilroy said drug awareness is the direction in which the Lord moved them.

“It seems like, once Mark disappeared, it was almost like we were on a journey,” she recalls. “In searching for him, we were being led in different ways and what brought us to the point that we are at now. It just seems that was what our Lord wanted us to do, that we should be saying whatever we could to help our young people not get on drugs.”

The Kilroys, wisely, are addressing the root cause of the living hell that so much of Mexico has become: the ravenous appetite of the United States for mind-altering drugs. Many young people in America feel so lost that the “escape” of drugs — which they find out only too late is really the worst kind of enslavement — is very alluring. The Kilroys’ foundation, like similar efforts in other places, works to help young people develop inner defenses against addictive behaviors by getting them in the habit of making life-affirming choices. When people have personal goals that they want to reach in the future, they’re not as likely to sacrifice that future for a temporary feel-good “fix” right now.

As anyone in Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or any other twelve-step group for people with addictions can tell you, that choice for life is only possible through faith in a “higher power.”

God said: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you and your descendants may live.”

Deuteronomy 30:19

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Take a good look at this map, for it affects your life more than you may realize.  The situation on the ground that this map represents not only impacts us today, but to a large degree, will determine our future.  No doubt the map will change over the next two years (this version dates from August 2010) — but we can be sure that some variation of it will be an important component in President West’s daily briefings.  It is a map to break your heart….

…or at least, it breaks mine.  I have always loved the people of Mexico.  It breaks my heart that millions of them now live in unrelenting terror because their entire country (except for the remote Baja California peninsula) is under the control of the drug cartels.  The huge cream-colored swaths on the map are the areas where two or more cartels are battling it out for control — and killing everyone in their way.  Since 2006, when President Felipe Calderón took office and began a tough crackdown on the drug lords — a squeeze that, albeit necessary, has prompted them to intensify their fights over turf — there have been more than 28,000 drug-related killings.

The map shows graphically why Arizona and Texas have been hit so hard by narcotrafficking violence:  They directly border the hottest war zones.

Allen West has said that sealing the U.S.-Mexican border is a matter of national security. The narcoviolence is one reason why.

Another reason is that Muslim terrorists are probably coming over — a situation we’ll look at in more detail tomorrow.

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