U.S. Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson rebutted claims that ISIS members had crossed the Mexican border into Texas, while admitting that four Kurdish terrorists did slip past the border.
According to the Daily Mail, Secretary Johnson conceded that four members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party had been arrested in September, trying to illegally cross the Mexican border. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, is a separatist group in Turkey, classified as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the American government. It has allied itself with other Turkish groups fighting against ISIS terrorists.
Johnson noted in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the individuals would be deported by U.S. authorities. He also pointed out that the PKK had defended Kurdish territory in Iraq against ISIS terrorists.
“Far fewer know that, in fact, these four individuals were arrested, their supposed link to terrorism was thoroughly investigated and checked, and in the end amounted to a claim by the individuals themselves that they were members of the Kurdish Worker’s Party — an organization that is actually fighting against ISIL and defended Kurdish territory in Iraq. Nevertheless, these individuals have been arrested for unlawful entry, they are detained, and they will be deported.”
— Gerardo Torres (@GerardoTots) October 9, 2014
As CBS News points out, Johnson was referring to a September 17 House Homeland Security Committee hearing, during which he was asked if he was aware that the four terrorists had been arrested trying to cross the border into Texas. His remarks on Thursday attempted to rebut the idea that the Southern border is porous and open to penetration by members of ISIS. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who questioned Johnson during the hearing, noted in an interview with CBS News that the PKK had been designated as a terrorist organization.
“I don’t think that should be dismissed as insignificant. It does demonstrate how porous or our border is. These are terrorists nonetheless and they had no trouble crossing our southern border. That’s a problem that must be addressed,” he said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that they’re tied with terrorists. To try to say that they were good terrorists is a bit concerning coming from the Homeland Security Secretary,” Chaffetz pointed out.
Secretary Johnson also denied an allegation by U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter that 10 ISIS terrorists had been detained at the border. Hunter made the allegation on Fox News Tuesday, as The Inquisitr reported. Though Hunter cited the Border Patrol as the source of his information, DHS was quick to refute the claim in a statement by spokeswoman Marsha Catron.
“DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border,” she said.
[Image: AP via The Daily Mail]