TERRORIST EVENTS PRIOR TO 9-11 AND OUR NATION'S BORDERS
It’s been many years since my military service in 1963 when I raised my hand and swore an oath to defend this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Events in history regarding Islamic radical Terrorism have been in the news long before 1979 and have continued 5 years after September 11, 2001. People have “short memories” with a tendency to forget anything regarding the “past” and who are the enemies of this nation. As a Christian and also “a man that lives by the sword”, I realize the Muslim religion is comprised of millions that claim to live in peace worldwide. By the same token, radical Muslim extremists, terrorists have murdered “infidels” non- believers throughout history.
February 1979, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan was killed by Afghan militia.
On November 4,1979, armed radical Muslims took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran; and 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days and released Jan. 20,1981.
*1979 was the only period of time, I remember when the Government was actually concerned with Immigration Visa violations. Special Agents and the U.S.B.P. had a prime mission nationwide to arrest all out of status F-1 Iranian Students and Iranian nationals who violated terms of visa admission. Thousands were arrested stateside and processed for Deportation to Iran. With determination, Immigration laws can be strictly enforced in this nation.
April 1983, an Islamic suicide car-bomber killed 63 people at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. 120 People were injured. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
October 1983, 241 U.S. Marines were killed by Islamic Jihad by bombs in their Beirut barracks. Also, 50 UN peacekeepers were slain at the French military barracks.Hezbollah, backed by Iran and Syria were responsible for the largest single day American Military death toll since War World II.
April 18, 1983, Beirut Lebanon, A van loaded with explosives parked under the portico of the U.S. Embassy exploded. 63 people were killed by factions of Islamic Jihad.
December 12, 1983, four were killed, 86 wounded in Kuwait City, Kuwait when Islamic Jihad crashed a truck filled with explosives into the U.S. Embassy annex.
April 1984, eighteen American military service personnel were killed by Islamic terrorists in Torrejon, Spain. September 1984, the Islamic Jihad ravaged the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, killing two Americans and wounding twenty others.
April, 12, 1985, Madrid Spain, 18 are killed in a restaurant frequented by U.S. Soldiers.
June 1985, Lebanese Shiite terrorists hijacked TWA Flight 847, 1 American murdered.
April 2, 1986, Athens, Greece TWA Flight 840 had a bomb explosion created by Arabian Revolutionary Cells. Four American passengers including a nine month old baby were killed.
On December 21,1988 Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland exploded with a loss of life of 270 passengers. 189 of the listed dead were American citizens. Libyan Islamic Terrorists loyal to Muammar Gadddafi placed the explosive device aboard the aircraft .
February 26,1993 was the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. A Ryder Rental Truck loaded with 1200 to 1500 pounds of fertilizer based, urea nitrate homemade explosives detonated taking six lives and injuring over a thousand people.
The explosion was on the second level-parking basement and was planned by Ramzi Yousef. Mohammed Salamek had rented the Truck and other Muslim extremists Ajay, Abuhalima and Ayyad were later found to be equal conspirators in the terrorist act.
On August 26, 1993, the U.S. Army, 3rd, Battalion, 75th. Ranger Regiment was deployed to Somalia to provide security for a United Nations Mission. The task was to provide food, security for a “Starving people” under a rebel ruling system of “war lords “ and local controlling factions who were Islamic militants. Muslim militants shot down a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter over Mogadishu and a dead U.S. Soldier was dragged through the streets and televised worldwide. A Total of 18 U.S.Army Rangers were killed in an attempt to arrest Warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. On October 21, 1993 , U.S. troops were ordered to withdraw from Somalia.
January 6, 1995, Manila Philippines. After an apartment fire, plans for Operation Bojinka were found on a laptop computer. Plans denoted a large scale attack on airliners. The failed bombing plot was developed by Islamic terrorists Ramzi Yousef and Klalid Shaikh Mohammed during a stay in Manila in 1994 and 1995. Explosive devices were to be placed on 11 U.S. bound airliners.
In March 1995, Islamic terrorists opened fire on a U.S. Consulate van in Karachi, slaying two U.S. diplomats and wounding a third.. November 1995, a car bomb at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, U.S. military housing killed seven servicemen, wounding 60. The “Islamic Movement for Change and Fighting Advocates of God “took responsibility for the deaths.
June 25,1996, A fuel truck armed with a bomb exploded outside the U.S. Military’s housing facility in the Khobar Towers, Dhahran Saudi Arabia . 19 American military servicemen were killed. The group claiming responsibility was a terrorist group known as the Islamic Change Movement. The Movement had also claimed the Riyadh bombing in 1995 that killed two Indian nationals as well as five American citizens.
August 1998, multiple bombs blasted the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The explosions killed 247 in Nairobi and 10 in Dar es Salaam, with more then 5000 wounded.
As a contract Senior Intelligence Analyst after official retirement in 1998, one of many tasks at the HIDTA Intelligence Center involved National Security Threats on the Borders. These were many people from mid-east countries that were considered sponsors of Terrorism and arrested as illegal aliens. *
The Mid-Eastern subjects arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol were always referred to the FBI and Department of Defense. Every illegal alien from Terrorist listed countries were placed in Orion leads as Suspected Terrorists with all vital data, names, country and manner of entry.
The Special Interest Aliens attempted illegal entry into the United States through areas near Border Ports of Entry. Immigration Special Agents and U.S. Border Patrol Agents also intercepted mid-easterners at International Airports in the El Paso Sector. The illegal entrants were from Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iran. The illegal aliens stated that the Mexican embassy in Beirut, Lebanon and Israel was the gateway to enter the United States. Valid Mexican entry visas for 30 and 60 days were purchased at a price from $1,000 to $5,000 U.S. dollars.
A point to remember is that several within the group had past and present participation in Militia or Terrorist groups in their home countries and most of their final destinations in the United States was the New York Area. One subject from Lebanon had been a member of Hezbollah for eight years; another was an admitted member of a Militia extremist group. An Afghani was active with the Mujahideen as a recruiter, and had served three years in prison prior to illegal entry into the United States. Another Afghani Mujahideen member was involved in the planned kidnapping of U.S. citizens in the Mid-East.
Illegal entries into the United States from nationals originating from Terrorist countries were a law enforcement focus in 1998 and the intelligence community. From entries at International Airports, it was anticipated that mid-eastern aliens would seek easier crossing points along the Southwest Border. There were many smugglers that would readily assist any person to enter the United States in Arizona or New Mexico.
On December 22, 1998, U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrested two Afghanistan nationals who entered the country at Douglas, Arizona. Both subjects entered without inspection and claimed to be citizens from the Netherlands. Both subjects were listed on Interpol Red lists of Terrorists. The FBI was contacted and all pertinent data was placed in Orion Intelligence Leads, as suspected Terrorists.
On December 14, 1999, U.S. Port Angeles Agents assisted U.S. Customs Agents in the apprehension of an Algerian traveling from Victoria, British Columbia on a ferry to the United States. The man had two Quebec driver’s licenses under different names and was driving a rental vehicle. In the vehicle, Agents found 200 pounds of urea, 46 ounces of liquid nitroglycerin and four very sophisticated electronic timing devices to detonate explosives. The subject was going to Seattle where he had a reservation for December 14 at a motel near the Space Needle. Immigration authorities in Canada had a nation wide arrest warrant issued on the man for theft. Algerian Ahmed Ressam informed authorities that he was schooled in a camp in Afghanistan, the latter overseen by bin Laden.
On October 12 , 2000, the U.S.S. Cole’s port side was destroyed by a suicide bomb boat explosion during refueling in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed, with numerous ship’s crewmen suffering serious injuries.
On September 11, 2001, Islamic extremists allegedly hijacked airliners and crashed into the World Trade Center, New York City. 3,020 people were killed and 2,337 were injured. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon. Sixty-four passengers and crew as well as 125 military and civilian personnel were killed with 80 wounded. An additional hijacked plane Flight 93 with 44 onboard crashed into a Shanksville PA field. Five years after September 11, 2001, there are still many questions that remain unanswered concerning “Open Borders” policies and Special Interest Aliens from Terrorist nations.
The events on the time line from 1979 are very real with just a few major events listed. The Borders of this nation are also very real with an influx of S.I.A.s that have entered illegally long before and after September 11, 2001. Islamic Terrorist factions that have created “Hell on Earth” is a Legend composed of many units, many group names, all with a common purpose before and after 911. A vast majority of the organized Terrorist Organizations listed in the time line are already embedded in the United States, coast to coast as the President and Senate extend the “Welcome Mat” for all Illegal Aliens in 2006. For those of us that have seen millions crossing our borders illegally since 911 and tried to enforce the law, we are very concerned with the national security apathy in Washington, D.C.
August 26, 2006 a fatal shooting incident involving the U.S. Border Patrol transpired near Yuma, Arizona. A suspicious car was sighted near the Andrade Port of Entry .The driver of the car ran and ended up in a pond near the Colorado River where he started to struggle, drowning. “Agents – still on the U.S. side – threw a flotation device and attempted to rescue him,” per Chris Van Wagenen, Border Patrol spokesman for the Yuma sector. Someone started throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, about 10 feet away from the agents, and one of the agents was struck in the head. An agent fired a shot when he saw that the person was about to throw another rock.
The shooting victim, identified by Mexican authorities as Antonio Pérez Ramírez of Veracruz, died at a Mexican hospital. Criminals and smugglers are provoking situations along the border and assaulting agents because of increased enforcement in the region according to the U.S.B.P. information officer….
Without a doubt there are very some very serious and determined Terrorists, criminal organizations in the world and in this nation. It’s a sad situation when Agents are too busy dodging potential lethal barrages of rocks, gunfire, complying with non-pursuit policies, a flawed judicial system to actually accomplish a mission, control our borders.
I had been a Conservative Voter, supporter of the G.O.P. from the late Sixties when returning Viet Nam Era Veterans in Class A uniforms “were spit upon” and cursed by “far left liberal socialist groups” at Airports nationwide. Conservatives in those days had pride in county, the Constitution, a belief in national sovereignty, and all principals of a Republic including “In God We Trust” which seems to have been long forgotten in politics.
*Sources. .ILLEGAL ENTRIES 2003, LEO journal
© 2006 John W. Slagle
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John W. Slagle is a U.S. Navy Aviation Veteran, Commercial Pilot, Multi-Engines rated and was a Firefighter, Engineer Lt. prior to United States Border Patrol service spanning 30 years. Duties included Agent/Medic, Special Tracking and Rescue Unit, Intelligence Officer, Sector Pilot to Criminal Investigator.
Slagle spent 12 years in undercover operations nationwide as a Special Agent, Anti-Smuggling Operations involving organized human trafficking, narcotics, certified Master Gun Smith and second degree Nidan black belt Goshin Iaido.
On December 14, 1999, U.S. Port Angeles Agents assisted U.S. Customs Agents in the apprehension of an Algerian traveling from Victoria, British Columbia on a ferry to the United States. The man had two Quebec driver’s licenses under different names and was driving a rental vehicle.