Tuesday, July 9, 2024

From Tajikistan With Love: Is Philadelphia A Terrorist Target?

Broad & Liberty ran my piece on potential terrorists from Tajikistan coming across the Southern Border today.

You can read the piece via the below link or the below text:

Paul Davis: From Tajikistan With Love (broadandliberty.com)

In Ian Fleming’s 1959 classic spy thriller, the Soviet counterterrorism agency SMERSH dispatched a psychopathic murderer named Donovan “Red” Grant to assassinate British intelligence operative James Bond and discredit British intelligence in a sex scandal. With his tongue slightly in cheek, Ian Fleming called his serious, dark, and complicated novel From Russia With Love

On June 12th, eight suspected terrorists who reportedly entered the U.S. illegally through the southern border were arrested in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The eight apprehended illegals are suspected of having ties to the terrorist organization ISIS in Tajikistan. The New York Post reported that at least one of the suspects was recorded on a wiretap discussing bombs.

Were the suspected terrorists sent from Tajikistan “with love” to the United States in order to commit acts of terrorism?  With one of the suspects arrested here, one wonders if Philadelphia is a potential terrorism target.

“Over the last few days, ICE agents arrested several non-citizens pursuant to immigration authorities. The actions were carried out in close coordination with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The individuals arrested are detained in ICE custody pending removal proceedings,” the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) noted in a released statement. “As the FBI and DHS have recently described in public and partner bulletins, the U.S. has been in a heightened threat environment. The FBI and DHS will continue working around the clock with our partners to identify, investigate, and disrupt potential threats to national security.” 

According to news sources, the eight suspects crossed the porous southern border illegally and were processed through what the U.S. government called a “full vetting” and then released into the United States after nothing derogatory was reported against them. 

But considering that most illegal aliens carry no identification and often give fictitious names, I’ve not much faith in the full vetting process. 

According to a June 25th report by NBC News, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified more than 400 illegal aliens brought into the U.S. by an ISIS-affiliated network. DHS has labeled these illegals as “subjects of concern.”

According to a government official who spoke to NBC, about 50 of them remain in the wind across the United States, with ICE agents seeking to arrest them on terrorism charges. About 150 of the illegals have been apprehended and some have been deported.

“In this case, it was the information that suggested a potential tie to ISIS because of some of the individuals involved in smuggling migrants to the border that led us to want to take extra care,” a senior official said to NBC.

Back in March, FBI Director Christopher Wray expressed his concern about terrorists crossing the Southern border, but he said he knew of no specific plot.

Testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the annual Worldwide Threats Assessment hearing, Wray said, “Some of the overseas facilitators of the smuggling network have ties with ISIS that we’re very concerned about, and we’ve been spending an enormous amount of effort with our partners investigating,” Wray said. “Exactly what that network is up to is something that is, again, the subject of our current investigation.”

Back in 2013, I interviewed then-Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey in his office at the old Roundhouse police headquarters. I asked Commissioner Ramsey if Philadelphia was a terrorist target. 

He noted that Philadelphia was geographically located on the Eastern Corridor between New York City and Washington D.C.

“The harder the target they make New York, the harder they make D.C., the more attractive Philadelphia will look to terrorists,” Ramsey said. “The historical monuments and institutions we have here in Philadelphia make the city a target of value to someone who wants to psychologically harm the United States, in addition to actually harming people.”

Ramsey said that from the standpoint of homeland security, Philadelphia receives millions of tourist visitors each year, and the city has a major port, an international airport and many other business, government, historical and cultural institutions. 

“Philadelphia has a lot going on,” Ramsey said.     

That assessment is still true today.  

We need to secure the southern border to prevent further potential terrorists from entering the United States, and we need to round up those who have already come through. And the Philadelphia Police, the Feds, other public officials, and the general public all need to be diligent in order to prevent a terrorist attack here.

Paul Davis, a Philadelphia writer and frequent contributor to Broad + Liberty, also contributes to Counterterrorism magazine and writes the “On Crime” column for the Washington Times. He can be reached at pauldavisoncrime.com. 

No comments:

Post a Comment