FBI Reports Show Terror Suspects Coming From Canada While Trump Stares at Mexico – The Daily Beast
2017/02/08 Leave a comment
Expect this story and data to have some legs in the current political context (has in the past, and is always an ongoing challenge with our American neighbours):
Donald Trump keeps talking about the threat from the U.S.-Mexico border. But he may be looking in the wrong direction. FBI reports reviewed by The Daily Beast reveal that far more suspected terrorists try to enter the country from the northern border with Canada than from the south.
Seven FBI Terrorist Screening Center “monthly domestic encounter reports” dating from April 2014 to August 2016 detail the number, type, and location of encounters with known or suspected terrorists across the United States. The encounters are based on information in various watchlist databases. In all seven reports, the numbers of encounters at land border crossings were higher in northern states than southern.
“We are looking the wrong direction,” said a senior DHS official familiar with the data. “Not to say that Mexico isn’t a problem, but the real bad guys aren’t coming from there—at least not yet.”
On Monday, press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters he would not disclose evidence behind the President’s claims that jihadis are “pouring” into the country. “I’m not going to get into specific information that the president has,” he said.
The FBI reports obtained by The Daily Beast provide data on known or suspected terrorists attempting to enter the country, or who are already in the United States.
These reports show hundreds of watchlisted passengers encountered on domestic flights—meaning they are already in the country—and a smaller percentage crossing the border over land.
Those encounters are reported back to the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center and used to compile the monthly domestic encounter overview reports, which are classified “Law Enforcement Sensitive.”
Newly installed Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly traveled to Texas last week to survey the border in the Rio Grande Valley with local law enforcement. He is scheduled to testify Tuesday morning at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on threats to the southern border.
But the FBI data shows concerns about terrorists crossing into the U.S. from Canada may be a more immediate concern, or is at least worthy of considerable attention, according to border and congressional officials.
“We often hear about security concerns on the Southern border, but bad actors intent on entering our country will always seek the path of least resistance, so we must have the necessary tools and resources to secure both the northern and southern borders,” Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) said in a statement to The Daily Beast.