PHOENIX – If you were to believe the media reports that everyone sneaking across the border is an innocent woman or child, then you’d think this story was impossible.
This week, a Russian migrant who illegally crossed the border was shot and wounded by an Arizona border patrol agent.
According to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, it happened when a Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent was trying to arrest a Russian citizen around 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
While details have not yet been released, we know the agent was forced to fire his service weapon. He hit the criminal, who suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken by helicopter to a Phoenix-area hospital.
As of Friday, the suspect was still at the hospital. According to CBP, the agent was not seriously injured. The FBI and CBP Use of Force Incident Team are currently investigating.
The story once again highlights the growing threat at our border. Yet at the same time, the media is focused on the buzzwords “kids in cages” and blaming it on President Trump (ignoring facts about the previous administration).
But a terrorist that snuck across the border? Media blackout.
Turns out President Trump was totally correct when he said that potential terrorists have illegally crossed the United States’ southern border.
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif of Somalia pulled it off, and there’s no question it could happen again.
His story goes back to 2011, when Sharif was smuggled from Somalia through Brazil and Central America.
Then he crossed over the Mexico-California border and claimed asylum.
From there, he went on to Canada. That’s where police said he conducted a double vehicle-ramming and stabbing rampage in 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta. In that situation a police officer was severely injured, as were four other people. When he rammed them, he was carrying an Islamic State flag.
A year ago, President Trump claimed the border was vulnerable to violent jihadists sneaking over from distant Muslim-majority countries.
Now, the 32-year-old is on public trial in Canada.
He’s currently facing 11 counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and dangerous driving.
He’s considered by experts to be the first border-crosser to conduct a jihadi attack in North America, and his story sends an important to U.S. homeland security.
Since 9/11, experts in homeland security have warned that Islamic extremists would infiltrate the United States through the southern border.
That’s why agencies have invested significant resources into countering the perceived border threat, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations agents working throughout Latin America.
Their purpose is to destroy smuggling networks. Those are the groups that specialize in sneaking foreign citizens from Muslim-majority countries such as Somalia into the United States.
Those threats get a special label by the government that has not yet been corrupted by the politically correct police. They’re referred to as “special interest aliens”, which subjects them to enhanced security screenings, such as threat assessment interviews.
Most Spanish-speaking people are not subject to those reviews.
According to The Federalist, travelers on U.S. terrorism watch lists have been apprehended at the border or on the way in recent years.
They report says that as many as nearly two dozen suspects a year were caught in various American security nets. Luckily, none had yet been able to attack in North America – until Sharif.
It’s not just here in the U.S., despite President Trump’s warning about the danger to America.
Dozens of Islamic terrorists successfully snuck over Europe’s external borders while posing as asylum-seeking refugees. Those terrorists launched attacks across their continent, including the devastating attacks in Paris and Brussels.
It shows that beyond Sharif, there’s proof of concept.
In the trial, we should learn about how Sharif got through the American cordon, what his motives and intentions were when he entered California through Mexico, and whether opportunities were missed to stop him prior to the Edmonton attack.
Here’s the back story on him.
The attack went down on Sept. 30, 2017, when prosecutors said Sharif drove a vehicle into an Edmonton police officer outside Alberta’s Commonwealth Stadium during a local championship soccer match.
He then escaped on foot and police say he stabbed the officer before running away.
Found inside of the car was an ISIS flag.
It was only a few hours later when police say he arrived in downtown Edmonton driving a rented U-Haul cube truck. They say he then used the to run over four citizens, per incitement propaganda from overseas Islamist extremist groups.
After an intense chanse, the truck flipped over and Sharif was arrested. All of his victims somehow managed to survive.
It wasn’t long before Canadian Press reported Sharif had been smuggled to the Mexico-California border on July 12, 2011.
The report indicated that Sharif left Somalia in 2008 and traveled through Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, and Angola before flying to Brazil. (See interactive route map here.)
When he got to Brazil, reporters say he worked at a chicken-processing plant before hiring smugglers to help him continue on to Mexico.
From there, experts said Sharif crossed over from Tijuana to the San Ysidro Port of Entry and claimed asylum.
We don’t know why… but a U.S. immigration Judge Carmene Depaolo in San Diego, only a month or so later, ordered Sharif to be deported to Somalia instead of granting him asylum.
The investigation and trial should turn up information on whether Sharif caught lying, or whether authorities found damning intelligence about him somewhere.
It was also possible that he abandoned his asylum claim so he could be legally clear to seek status in Canada.
Here’s where it gets interesting. He was never deported.
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That’s because no civil authority in Somalia had developed enough to accept deportees from the United States.
You can also than Obama-era court rulings and policies that didn’t allow for such stateless people to be indefinitely detained. And so Sharif was released on an order of supervision, with orders to report to ICE regularly.
But he failed to show up on Jan. 24, 2012, because he was in Canada by then, reports indicate.
We know he then traveled to Buffalo, New York, and with help from a refugee support group called Vive La Casa, he crossed into Fort Erie, Ontario, on Jan. 9, 2012.
From there, he filed a refugee claim that was granted later that year.
According to Canadian immigration officials, database checks uncovered no information about Sharif that raised red flags.
And not surprisingly, it’s a usual finding with Somalis because most citizens in the country have no records existing about them.
On top of that ICE said Sharif had been found to have “no criminal history”. Of course records of that wouldn’t exist.
He landed on the radar of Canadian intelligence agencies 36 months later.
That’s because they say he had extremist Islamist views.
Experts say that included genocidal beliefs pertaining to Islamist teachings.
That year, the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team found cause to interview Sharif and Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand said there was insufficient evidence to charge him at the time.
According to The Federalist, one U.S. committee demanded an investigation:
“In October 2018, during its final hours under Republican control, the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., issued a letter formally requesting that DHS’s Office of Inspector General investigate the Sharif case because ‘it appears there has been no comprehensive study of the incident.’ There’s been no word on whether DHS OIG ever took up the committee’s request.”
Apparently the committee wanted to know what DHS was doing to vet special interest aliens for potential terrorism connections, how frequently these migrants committed asylum fraud and were prosecuted, and “how many were released early on bonds before they could undergo threat assessment interviews”.
There were two bombshell reports – a 2011 OIG report (the same year Sharif crossed into California) and a follow-up 2018 OIG report. They both showed ICE was neither screening nor checking databases for all aliens from countries of national security concern, which would include Somalia.
“The Committee is deeply concerned the vulnerabilities existing in 2011, which allowed this individual to enter, be released, and transit through the U.S. may still exist today,” Gowdy wrote.
Sharif wasn’t charged by Alberta prosecutors under terrorism statutes.
As a result, it appears unlikely the trial in Edmonton will reveal the kind of information pertinent to American national security and, perhaps, not even to Canadian security.
The prosecutors will most likely only look to prove that Sharif was behind the wheel of the two vehicles and was the one who stabbed the police officer.
And because it’s not America, a publication ban has blanketed the proceedings. That prevents local journalists from reporting anything not in actual court testimony.
In the meantime, don’t expect the American media to report on it… because that would require them to acknowledge a terrorist actually did cross the border and attack.