Thursday, September 30, 2010
Congressman Brian Bilbray says he’ll call for hearings on statements by federal agents, who say some people posing a terror threat are slipping into San Diego’s ports of entry from Mexico disguised as asylum seekers.
SAN DIEGO San Diego County Congressman Brian Bilbray says he’ll call for hearings on statements by federal agents, who say some people posing a terror threat are slipping into San Diego’s ports of entry from Mexico disguised as asylum seekers.
San Diego has one of the largest Somali communities in the nation. Many Somalis are immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico. Their circuitous path is raising concerns among intelligence officials at a time when the Somali terror group, al-Shabab, is recruiting from the U.S.
Bilbray’s call for hearings follows a KPBS report on concerns by federal agents. According to the agents, some East Africans asking for asylum at San Diego ports of entry from Mexico lack authentic identification.
The agents worry that the Somali terror group al-Shabab might be financing the expensive and circuitous journey by the asylum seekers. Many are traveling from Somalia -- through Kenya to Cuba and then on to Central America -- and cross into San Diego from Mexico.
Bilbray says lawmakers are obligated to respond to the agents’ concerns.
"This is an absolute example of the kind of things that the 9/11 commission said we have to stop. And this is the kind of thing that the American people have said we expect Washington to take care of," said Bilbray.
Al-Shabab has threatened to attack the United States and is actively recruiting Americans. Federal prosecutors say former San Diegan Jehad Mostafa is believed to be fighting with al-Shabab insurgents in Somalia.
“If something happens, you watch all of the media and all of the politicians will ask how could this happen and I think this is really the type of wake-up call we need to address,” Bilbray said.
Meanwhile, a report by the Bipartisan Policy Center says homegrown terrorism is the biggest threat to the United States.