Just over a week ago, border state FFLs received a warning from ATF about criminals angling to acquire some heavy-duty firearms. This was, apparently, based on fresh intelligence that a unique, current, and active push among bad actors to acquire .50 caliber rifles and belt-feds was underway.
Then the attacks in Israel happened…and are escalating. Now we’re learning even more about how many “special interest aliens” from the Middle East have been illegally crossing our open southern border.
Seen above is the entirety of the email sent to FFLs in Texas (and other border states, we believe). This was assumed by most to be referring to drug cartel activity and the ATF’s assertion that cartels use straw purchasers in the U.S. to acquire firearms intended for criminal use in Mexico.
However, that may not be the case and given global terrorism activity and military age males entering the U.S. illegally, it could be something worse — something directed at Americans.
From Fox News . . .
. . . fiscal year 2023 broke the record for encounters on the FBI terror watch list with 151 people encountered at the southern border between ports of entry, higher than the previous six years combined.
I’ve seen other sources stating 160-something encounters with people on the terrorist watchlist by July of this year. We don’t know if these encounters resulted in deportations, arrests, or, given the open border policy, individuals being released into the U.S.
We also don’t know how many of the approximately 1.6 million-plus-plus “gotaways” — people who successfully snuck across the border without an encounter with .gov types on the U.S. side — who have entered the country since 2021 are on the terrorist watchlist. Or should be. Or if the number of “gotaways” is at all accurate since, after all, they’ve snuck past any border controls and much of that happens without our knowledge or visibility.
How about people who aren’t formally on the Terrorist Screening Database (the “terrorist watchlist”) but are coming from countries where, to put it kindly, many terrorists originate? Countries which, by the way, generally have such a lack of infrastructure that we have no way of confirming who one of their citizens actually is when they show up at our border. Countries with very rudimentary identification systems, no searchable criminal or other databases, etc.
These sorts of foreign immigrants are deemed “special interest aliens.” The same Fox News article explains what that means . . .
“Special interest aliens” are people from countries identified by the U.S. government as having conditions that promote or protect terrorism or potentially pose some sort of national security threat to the U.S.
That data, confirmed by multiple CBP sources and reflects apprehensions between ports of entry between October 2021 and October 2023, shows that agents encountered 6,386 nationals from Afghanistan in that period as well as 3,153 from Egypt, 659 from Iran and 538 from Syria.
Agents also encountered 13,624 from Uzbekistan, 30,830 from Turkey, 1,613 from Pakistan, 164 from Lebanon, 185 from Jordan, 139 from Yemen, 123 from Iraq and 15,594 from Mauritania. The data does not include information on how many of those migrants were removed or who were released into the U.S. with a court date.
Not exactly comforting. We know that these people were encountered by CBP, but we don’t know what was done with them. Were they released into the U.S.? Probably, given that’s clearly been the standard applied to visitors at our southern border since 2021. Heck, they’re showing up with pre-paid debit cards paid for, in part, by U.S. taxpayers via grants to NGOs and such.
To be clear, I have precisely zero information that hasn’t been written in this article already. It’s nothing but reasonable concern that the ATF warning, the terror attacks on Israel, more information about who’s coming across our border, the Mayor of NYC publicly warning of the threat of a near-term terrorist attack, and, now, Hezbollah calling for a “global day of jihad” this Friday may all be dots that connect to an acute, increased risk of terrorism on U.S. soil.
All I’m saying is, I guess, this is a very good time to stay frosty. That’s slang for vigilant, ready, keeping your head on a swivel, and observant. More so if you’re in population centers or will be at large gatherings.
Carry a firearm whenever and wherever you’re legally allowed to do so. Perhaps keep something heavier in your vehicle, such as a capable rifle, multiple loaded magazines for it, body armor (here, rifle rated here, other options here), a blowout kit and other medical supplies, etc. Maybe even a gas mask would be a good idea.
Grey Man makes cool stuff for keeping a rifle and all sorts of other gear handy in a vehicle, and their panels can be concealed in a trunk or other hidden space as well as mounted to the back of seats.
Finally, you should have a planned course of action for your family and such. In the few extreme weather and other events I’ve been through, communications were affected and unreliable, especially in the beginning. Cell phone towers get overwhelmed when an event triggers mass usage (if you have the means, you can hedge against that with some very cool satellite messaging devices).
Establishing a protocol for unplanned events and emergencies such as a place to meet is very helpful. It at least gives your people a first course of action and an initial plan should things go sideways.
Stay safe out there, y’all.