April 17, 2015
ISIS In Mexico Rumor Started By Conservative Blog, Debunked By U.S. Officials

The rumor that ISIS is operating in Mexico, just eight miles from the U.S. border, was allegedly started by a discredited conservative blog called Judicial Watch.

"ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector," the blog wrote in an article titled "ISIS Camp a Few Miles from Texas, Mexican Authorities Confirm."

"During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as "plans" of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army's 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

According to these same sources, "coyotes" engaged in human smuggling – and working for Juárez Cartel – help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed "coyotes" are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.

Mexican intelligence sources report that ISIS intends to exploit the railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa, NM (a US port-of-entry). The sources also say that ISIS has "spotters" located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations."

In a statement to Fox News, a State Department spokesman debunked the rumors saying, "The United States and Mexico work together on counterterrorism and border security to protect the citizens of both of our countries from the threat of terrorism and violent extremism."

Both the U.S. authorities and Mexican officials have worked closely together to investigate the allegation, and have determined the claim to be "unfounded."

Last year, Judicial Watch made a similar claim regarding ISIS moving in on the U.S. through the Mexico border. In September 2014, the media outlet reported that ISIS militants were planning to attack the United States from Ciudad Juarez.

"There is no credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL [ISIS] to attempt to cross the southern border," Homeland Security officials said in a written statement to The New York Times.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]