ISIS militants have reportedly been talking about invading the United States through the border with Mexico, a United States official warned this week.
Speaking before a Senate committee, the under secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security said militants have been caught on social media discussing ways to infiltrate the United States.
“There have been Twitter and social-media exchanges among ISIL adherents across the globe speaking about that as a possibility,” said Francis Taylor in response to a question from Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican.
Taylor added that the ISIS invasion talk wasn’t too much of a threat, and that he was “satisfied that we have the intelligence and the capability at our border that would prevent that activity.”
There could be major problems if ISIS planned to invade the United States through Mexico. U.S. officials say that the Mexican drug cartels controlling the region are defensive of their turf, especially regarding threats that could bring the United States government and its firepower to their lucrative drug-smuggling territory.
At any rate, ISIS would not have the capacity to invade anyway, said Nicholas Rasmussen, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
“We do not assess right now they have the capability to mount an effective large-scale attack on the United States,” Rasmussen said.
This comes after an alert from Sheriff Gary Painter, who works near El Paso, that an ISIS terrorist cell formed just a few miles from the Texas border. Painter claimed that the Islamic State militants have converged in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. That region has been one of the most violent, as clashes between drug cartels and with Mexican military officials have claimed thousands of lives.
Painter added that Texas law enforcement officers have been advised to be on the lookout for “suspicious, potential terrorist activity.” There have not yet been any concrete reports of ISIS activity near the United States border with Mexico, however.
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