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“What Will The Jihadists Do? Apply For Their 601(h) Probationary Status, Of Course”

Friday, May 25, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My column dropped the link to Todd Bensman’s crucial series of articles in the San Antonio Express News on the “aliens of special interest” who have come into the country over the borders.  If you read only one set of papers this long weekend, make it Bensman’s series.

The column begins:

In a series of stunning and timely articles for the San Antonio ExpressNews which ought to earn him and his paper a Pulitzer, reporter Todd Bensman has detailed the conclusions of a many months long investigation into the illegalentry across our southern and northern borders by mena and women from the 43 “countries of interest” in the world known to harbor terrorist networks. The key conclusion of the series:

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehension numbers, agentsalong both borders have caught more than 5,700 special-interest immigrantssince 2001. But as many as 20,000 to 60,000 others are presumed to have slippedthrough, based on rule-of-thumb estimates typically used by homeland securityagencies.

Bensman’s many other revelations are as startling as they are disturbing. Though national security officials have long worried about undetected jihadistcells in the country, Bensman’s researches make it very clear that evenincompetent and poorly funded Islamist networks could easily have moved scores oreven hundreds of their number into the U.S. in the years since 9/11. Evenincompetent and poorly funded Islamist networks would have known to have sent fromamong their numbers the jihadists least likely to attract the attention ofauthorities if they were caught. Even incompetent and poorly funded Islamistnetworks would have known the value of embedding jihadists inside of America anddoing so with the intent of having them slumber for as long as necessary.

And of course not all Islamist networks are incompetent or poorly funded. Many security experts fear that alliances between narcotics networks andterrorist groups have been forged which could easily provide not merely funding butmore certain transit into the U.S. Iran is willing to fund the devices thatkill our troops. Why wouldn’t it fund the travel to the U.S. of sleeper agents?

In short, we have within our borders jihadists, some of whom have to beassumed to have been chosen because of their apparent disconnectedness to knownterrorist organizations. Even if we did not know this, we would have to assume it was true.

The law as drafted will give these sleepers legal status, and the ability to work and travel anywhere in the country as well as the right to come and go to foreign lands as they please.

Subsequent articles in Bensman’s series are here, here, here and here.  Inexplicably, the Express News does not have a box on their home page making for easy access to the series.

Thus far no amendment has been offered to carve out from eligibility for probationary status and eventually Z visas illegal aliens whose country of origin is one in which jihadist networks have operated with sophistication of the sort that might have sent sleepers into the U.S., just as no amendment has been offered to finish all of the fence first.  I can’t imagine the bill making it into law without both changes.

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