A terrorist purposely infected with the Ebola virus could pose a threat to America by infiltrating our borders.
That is the worry of Congressman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) as discussed during a post-speech Q&A with constituents in his home state on Thursday.
Wilson, who like many lawmakers favors a temporary ban on flights from West Africa, referred to Hamas rather than ISIS in his remarks, however.
Responding to an audience member’s question at a Rotary Club meeting, Wilson explained, “You’re not being hypothetical. I’m very concerned… The creed from Hamas… we value death more than you value life. What? That’s their creed. Part of their creed would be to bring persons who have Ebola into our country. It would promote their creed… All of this would be avoided by sealing the border thoroughly. C’mon; this is the 21st century.”
He also noted that Israel’s border fence has prevented homicide bombers “from blowing up women and children on buses.”
Wilson added, “I’m absolutely convinced, too, that we’ve got to seriously seal our southern border. If you have tens of thousands of children coming across the border who could have potential health issues the thought of other people coming across to me just should be stopped and avoided.”
Parenthetically, there have been unconfirmed reports that Central American immigrants crossing into America illegally are spreading diseases such as enterovirus 68.
Wilson became famous (for 15 minutes or perhaps longer) when he shouted “You lie!” at President Obama during a 2009 speech before a joint session of Congress. Wilson was expressing his disagreement with the president’s claim that Obamacare would exclude illegal immigrants from coverage. Subsequent reporting indicates that some illegals have signed up for Obamacare, however.
In a follow up, the congressman told The State that ISIS could also weaponize Ebola because “their stated goal is death to America.” Although he admitted that no official confirmation exists of a possible Ebola terrorist attack, he insisted that “You don’t have to go too far to see how they can do this. Drug smugglers recruit people to come over the border all the time.”
Rep. Wilson also expressed concern about the safety of U.S. troops deployed to Liberia as part of the Ebola relief effort.
Weekly Standard writer Jonathan V. Last offered this assessment of the possible Ebola-as-a-weapon terrorist threat.
What’s to stop a jihadist from going to Liberia, getting himself infected, and then flying to New York and riding the subway until he keels over? This is just the biological warfare version of a suicide bomb. Can you imagine the consequences if someone with Ebola vomited in a New York City subway car? A flight from Roberts International in Monrovia to JFK in New York is less than $2,000, meaning that the planning and infrastructure needed for such an attack is relatively trivial. This scenario may be highly unlikely. But so were the September 11 attacks and the Richard Reid attempted shoe bombing, both of which resulted in the creation of a permanent security apparatus around airports. We take drastic precautions all the time, if the potential losses are serious enough, so long as officials are paying attention to the threat.”
A professor at the Naval War College has previously suggested that, at least theoretically, ISIS operatives could intentionally expose themselves to Ebola in areas where the virus has reached epidemic proportions, and then try to interact with as many people as possible in a city targeted for a terrorist attack.
With regard to the Ebola outbreak, do you think Congressman Wilson is being an alarmist or expressing far-fetched views about the possible threat to U.S. national security?