Following ISIS’s massacre of 129 people last Friday in Paris, where at least six of the Paris attackers reportedly had gone to Syria for training, Syria has been popping up on my news feed.
What is so unusual about this?
My news feed pertains Latin America.
The first one was about two families that simply turned themselves in at the border: Syrians Detained Trying to Cross Texas Border
Two families — two men, two women and four children — presented themselves Tuesday at the port of entry of the South Texas city of Laredo, the Department of Homeland Security said in a release. The men were taken to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Pearsall, and the women and children to one in Dilley.
“Due to privacy issues, no additional information will be provided at this time.”
And then the stories about the fake passports started coming up:
Breitbart Texas can confirm that a Syrian did attempt to enter the U.S. illegally through Texas in late September. The Syrian was caught using a passport that belonged to someone else and U.S. authorities decided against prosecuting anyone involved due to “circumstances.”
Another one: Honduras arrests five Syrians headed to US with stolen passports (emphasis added)
They had traveled by air from Syria to Lebanon, then to Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica and on to Honduras.
From there they were to make their way to Honduras’ second city of San Pedro Sula with the aim of going overland through Guatemala, then Mexico and on to the United States, [police spokesman, Anibal] Baca told AFP.
Allahpundit has some questions on those guys,
No reason to believe they’re terrorists, authorities are quick to note, as it’s not just terrorists who sometimes steal a passport to get where they’re going. Fair enough, but if this is simple illegal immigration in search of economic opportunity, why make a long journey through Turkey, South America, and Central America to the United States instead of taking advantage of Merkel’s open-borders policy and heading for Germanistan? Also, where’d they get the passports? And why steal them? Is it a simple matter of genuine passports being hard to come by amid the collapse of Syria’s civil state or is there another reason?
Some are women:
As reported by Breitbart Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested 27-year-old Walaa Alrehawi and her brother-in-law 46-year-old Mohammad Ziad Alzalam last week in the border city of Hidalgo on the charge of misusing a U.S. passport.
Those charges were later dropped.
Another woman: Syrian woman using [fake] Greek passport arrested in Costa Rica, after arriving from Argentina.
And, a real biggie, about which I posted this morning:
Seham Al Salkhadi, a Syrian woman allegedly involved with ISIS, spent four months in Ecuador prior to traveling to Paris, France, via Bogota, Colombia, using a stolen Israeli passport last July
In the period from May 14, 2014 to July 6, 2015, Al Salkhadi traveled from Daraa, Syria, to Tripoli, Lebanon, where she stayed for eight months. She was later spotted in Turkey, after which she traveled to Ecuador, where she stayed for four months.
She used a stolen passport belonging to an Israeli man, and, after paying a US$1,300 bribe to a customs agent, departed on July 6 for Stockholm via Paris. Noticias Caracol’s video showed a letter from Air France confirming that Al Salkhadi traveled to Paris and did not complete the last stage of the trip to Stockholm.
French and Colombian authorities are investigating her possible involvement in last Friday’s attack.
Yesterday I asked,
Why bring thousands here? Why not do other refugee relief aid overseas, in areas secured in their country or adjacent countries?
I’m still waiting for an answer.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.