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ISIS fighters caught at the U.S. border?

A dust-up between the Department of Homeland Security and Rep. Duncan Hunter of the House Armed Services Committee.

Fears that terrorists will attempt to enter the United States from Mexico have been part of the national security debate for quite some time, growing particularly acute with the beginning of the Nameless Non-War against ISIS.  But according to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), appearing on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show, ISIS fighters have already tried to slip across the southern border, and were intercepted by the U.S. Border Patrol.

“I know that at least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mesican border in Texas,” Hunter asserted, based on information he has received from anonymous sources inside the Border Patrol.  “There’s nobody talking about it.”

Hunter, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, added: “if they catch five or ten of them, then you know there’s going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the Border Patrol.”

This led to a dust-up between the Department of Homeland Security, which categorically denied Hunter’s assertion, and the Congressman’s staff, as reported by the UK Daily Mail:

‘The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground,’ a Homeland Security spokesman said in a statement, using the administration’s preferred alternative acronym for the group.

‘DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border.’

CBS News reported Wednesday that one of Hunter’s sources ‘nuanced their claims’ after the Fox broadcast, saying that some of the people he referred to may have been ‘ISIS-affiliated or possibly Americans who fought with the Syrian Free Army.’

The FSA is an ISIS foe, not an ally.

It’s very important to keep these things straight.  The FSA is allied with al-Qaeda, not ISIS.  ISIS used to be part of al-Qaeda, but now they don’t get along… or at least they didn’t until American bombs started falling on them in Syria.  So the Free Syrian Army would be the guys we expect to stop obsessing over a free Syria and get busy killing the possibly reconciled rivals of bin Ladenists they’ve recently come to an agreement with.  Maybe we should issue the Border Patrol a flowchart to keep it all sorted out, or better yet a smartphone app that can be updated frequently as the alliances shift.

Hunter’s spokesman pushed back, defending his claim.

??The congressman was conveying what he knows ?? and what he was told,’ the spokesperson said in a statement.

‘It makes sense that the left hand of DHS doesn??t know what the right hand is doing ?? it??s been that way for a long time and we don??t expect that to change.’

Youch.  Well, if these ten “ISIS fighters” were actually Free Syrian Army fighters, perhaps the original source was not clear about their identity when leaking the arrests to Hunter.  If that’s the case, can I ask a follow-up question?  What are ten guys from the Free Syrian Army doing, trying to cross the Mexican border into Texas?

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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