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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    North Carolina

    Border Patrol, lawmen outgunned by cartels

    Border Patrol, lawmen outgunned by cartels
    Homeland Security panel also says traffickers are forming ties with U.S.-based gangs ... 63968.html

    Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

    The U.S. Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies at the U.S.-Mexico border are outgunned by increasingly ruthless and well-armed Mexican drug cartels, a new congressional report concludes.

    "The cartels use automatic assault weapons, bazookas, grenade launchers and improvised explosive devices," the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee report said. "In contrast, U.S. Border Patrol agents are issued 40-caliber Beretta semiautomatic pistols."

    The report, scheduled to be released today by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said drug cartels are able to break the encryptions on Border Patrol and sheriffs' deputies' radios.

    "Lookouts for the cartels, using military grade equipment, are positioned at strategic points on the U.S. side of the border to monitor movements of U.S. law enforcement," it continued.

    Fear of terrorism

    Even as the traffickers expand their drugrunning routes to smuggle immigrants into the United States, they are forming dangerous alliances with U.S.-based criminal gangs such as MS-13 and the Latin Kings, according to the congressional panel.

    McCaul, whose district stretches into western Harris County, chairs the subcommittee.

    The former federal prosecutor expressed concern that trafficking networks could use their delivery routes to smuggle terrorists or weapons of mass destruction into the U.S.

    "The thing that keeps me up at night when I think 'What can we do to prevent another 9/11?' is that they own these delivery routes," he said in an interview Monday.

    Hezbollah members already have entered the U.S. from Mexico, the report confirmed.

    "As if narco-terrorist violence were not enough, extensions of Middle East terrorism have crept into the United States," the report stated. "Islamic radical groups that support Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamiya Al Gamat are all active in Latin America."

    McCaul said he commissioned the report to bring focus to the national security threat and rising violence at the border, which has witnessed a spree of murders and kidnappings linked to warring drug cartels, particularly in Nuevo Laredo.

    The federal government has added Border Patrol agents, detention beds and high-tech surveillance systems to deter illegal crossings, he said, with less attention to the border's other problems.

    "We put billions of dollars in trying to stop the flow coming in, in a more reactive way, and what I'm suggesting is we also need to take a look at the other piece of this problem and identify what is the root cause and attack the root cause head on," he said. "In my view, the head of the snake is the cartels."

    McCaul urged better intelligence gathering in Mexico and Latin America. And he called for greater cooperation with the Mexican government to crack down on the cartels.

    Still, he acknowledged that expanding the partnership is difficult in light of persistent corruption in Mexican law enforcement ranks and the deadly attacks the cartels have launched on Mexican authorities.

    Growing population

    Citing federal estimates that the Border Patrol apprehends only 10 percent to 30 percent of illegal crossers, the report said as many as 10 million illegal immigrants may have entered the U.S. last year.

    Estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center and other experts peg the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. at 11 million to 12 million.

    And while federal law enforcement seized 1.1 million pounds of cocaine and 6.8 million pounds of marijuana, McCaul's staff estimated the total cocaine flow may have topped 11 million pounds.

    "While the United States has taken positive steps to secure its borders, much more is needed to combat an increasingly powerful, sophisticated, organized and violent criminal network which seeks to move illegal contraband ... into our country for profit," the report concludes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    North Carolina
    The full House Homeland Security Subcommittee report can be found at: ... report.pdf

    Here is more from Lou Dobbs Tonight-Oct 17, 2006, describing the findings of this report:

    PILGRIM: There is explosive new evidence that violence on the U.S.-Mexican border is spreading deep into this country. Now, despite that evidence, U.S. cities continue to break federal law by giving sanctuary to illegal aliens.

    Casey Wian reports on a new congressional warning on border security and new evidence that terrorists have already cross the Mexican border into the United States.

    And Bill Tucker reports on the movement to create sanctuary cities, a movement that is feeding this nation's illegal alien crisis.

    We begin with Casey Wian -- Casey.

    CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kitty, there's an explosive new report out tonight from a congressional subcommittee on homeland security. It warns of growing threats from drug traffickers, illegal alien smugglers, and terrorists.


    WIAN (voice-over): A gun battle on the streets of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. These scenes took place just across the Rio Grande from the United States. Mexican government troops battling the Zetas, soldiers for drug cartels. Themselves former Mexican troops or police.

    This violence is increasingly spreading across the border to the United States, according to a new report from the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations.

    REP. MIKE MCCAUL (R), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: We found that the drug cartels are more violent than ever and more powerful than ever, and they are the root causes for the violence on our border. They represent the head of the snake, the head that must be eradicated.

    WIAN: The report documents how Mexican drug cartels are actually increasing their grips on smuggling roots in Texas, even as the Border Patrol and National Guard deploy more resources to the area. Among its conclusions, Mexican drug traffickers are increasingly coordinating operations with U.S. gangs such as MS13.

    Members of the terrorist group Hezbollah have already entered the United States across the southwest border. And Hugo Chavez's regime in Venezuela is emerging as a potential hub of terrorism in the western hemisphere. It says Venezuela is providing documents that could be used by terrorists to obtain a U.S. visa.

    And it states the obvious: border patrol resources are inadequate.

    GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: It's not merely idle chatter to say that border security is critical to homeland security. To think that international terrorists have not already exploited our border is naive.

    WIAN: The congressional investigation was launched in February after LOU DOBBS TONIGHT reported on a battle between U.S. law enforcement officers and Mexican drug smugglers in military uniforms who had crossed into the United States. We also reported the Homeland security Department documented 200 Mexican military incursions since 1996.


    WIAN: Among the report's proposed solutions, more Border Patrol agents, more border fencing, and increased cooperation with the Mexican government to control those drug cartels. Conspicuously absent from those recommendations, the president's proposed temporary worker program -- Kitty.

    PILGRIM: Casey, this is an unbelievable report. This border is several thousand miles long. How widespread is this violence?

    WIAN: It's growing more and more widespread every day, it seems.

    We obtained a picture of an incredibly gruesome event. It was too gruesome for us to show on the air, but I can describe it to you.

    Five Mexican police officers, they were decapitated. Their heads thrown on to a dance floor in (INAUDIBLE), Mexico, with a warning saying this is divine justice for all those who oppose the Mexican drug cartels -- Kitty.

    PILGRIM: Casey, deeply shocking report. Thanks very much.

    Casey Wian.

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