The Gathering Storm Clouds: FBI Director Comey Warns Terrorists Heading Our Way

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By Michael W. Cutler

Mike is a Senior Fellow with CAPS and retired INS Senior Special Agent. During his 30-year career with the INS he rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and for 10 years was assigned, as an INS Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has testified at numerous hearings conducted by committees and subcommittees of the House and Senate and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

He hosts "The Michael Cutler Hour" on USA Talk Radio Fridays at 7 p.m. (EST) and is frequently interviewed by broadcast media on various aspects of immigration issues, especially the nexus to national security.

The writer's views are his own.

October 13, 2016

One mission of our armed services is to work with our allies to locate, engage and eliminate terrorists overseas, while domestically our law enforcement agencies are tasked with protecting America and Americans within our borders. In the wake of the deadly terror attack in San Bernardino, California, I wrote an article, “Fighting the War on Terror Here, There and Everywhere,” in which I took on the false argument that by fighting the terrorists overseas we won’t have to fight them here.

On September 26, 2016, “Business Insider” warned, “FBI director: ISIS’ loss will create a ‘terrorist diaspora’ like we’ve never seen before,” while a day later NBC reported, “FBI’s Comey: Officials Worry About ‘Terrorist Diaspora’ from Syria, Iraq.”

FBI Director Comey is predicting that simply defeating ISIS and other terror organizations overseas, while an achievable objective, would likely have unintended consequences.  He warns that as greater pressure is brought to bear against the terrorists on their turf, they will head for the West, including the United States, to create as much death and destruction as possible.

America’s borders are our first line and last line of defense against these terrorists and transnational criminal organizations. Our borders, however, include far more than the U.S.-Mexican border. Our nation has 50 “Border States.” Any state that lies along the northern or southern borders of the United States is a border state, as are those states that have access to our nation’s 95,000 miles of coastline. Finally, any state that has an international airport must, of necessity, be deemed a border state.

The official report, “9/11 and  Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” focused specifically on the ability of the terrorists to travel around the world, enter the U.S. and ultimately embed themselves here as they went about their deadly preparations to carry out an attack. The preface of this report begins with the following paragraph:

"It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one."

That report and the “9/11 Commission Report” made it clear that the multiple failures of the immigration system enabled terrorists to enter the U.S. and then embed themselves here in the country so that they could go about their deadly preparations without being detected.

For terrorists, acquiring identity documents and, especially, acquiring lawful immigration status are key to their quest to hide in plain sight. Justifiably, much concern has been expressed by Americans and some of our political leaders about the inability of our officials to vet Syrian refugees while the administration continues to admit ever more such refugees.

It is disconcerting that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has promised that, if elected, she would greatly increase the number of such refugees she would admit into the U.S.

However, my recent article focuses on the fact that aliens who enter the U.S. without inspection, by running our borders, are not vetted at all, and their entries went unnoticed. My article was aptly titled, “Entry Without Inspection = Entry Without Vetting.”

This serious vulnerability is being ignored by both the administration and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who insists that if elected she would provide lawful status and a pathway to U.S. citizenship to unknown millions of such illegal aliens, who entered without inspection. The numbers would be so  huge that no interviews and no field investigations could be conducted.

When sensible people hear storm warnings that hurricanes are headed their way they may board up their windows and stock up on supplies. They may choose to evacuate altogether.

When residents of “Tornado Alley” hear blaring sirens alerting folks that tornadoes are forming, they take appropriate action and head for their storm cellars.

FBI Director Comey has sounded the alarm, but the administration and Hillary Clinton, for inexplicable reasons, continue to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to his warnings and those of others, such as CIA Director Brennan who has warned that ISIS has embedded terrorists in refugee flows.

The time has long since come and passed for our politicians to set political goals aside and be true leaders whose primary concerns are the safety and well-being of America and Americans by taking to heart the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

This includes enhancing border security, ending the Visa Waiver Program and ramping up the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the U.S. to arrest and remove illegal aliens, as well as weed out fraud in applications for immigration benefits.

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