How many terrorists does it take to cause massive destruction in America? 10? 100? 1000? If we look at history, less than two dozen executed 9/11. But what about the “lone wolf” attacks? A quick look on Wikipedia demonstrates in the last decade, the vast majority of terrorist attacks in America were attempted by single terrorists.
The reality of potential future terrorism in the United States is very different from what both sides of the political aisle are painting. The White House is using creative numbers to make their case for the border wall, while Democrats seem to think the problem is nonexistent. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, but that’s not even the point.
NBC tried to throw cold water on the idea that our borders aren’t safe from terrorists, but it’s an extremely misguided argument. Even their headline attempts to ease concerns.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered only six immigrants at ports of entry on the U.S-Mexico border in the first half of fiscal year 2018 whose names were on a federal government list of known or suspected terrorists, according to CBP data provided to Congress in May 2018 and obtained by NBC News.
The low number contradicts statements by Trump administration officials, including White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who said Friday that CBP stopped nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists from crossing the southern border in fiscal year 2018.
Their argument suffers from four flaws, any of which are enough individually to make Americans concerned about the border situation.
Unlike migrants, terrorists don’t let themselves get caught
It’s easy to track a large portion of the illegal immigrants crossing into the country because many of them seek out border patrol to take them into custody once they cross. The idea is that they can apply for asylum or find other excuses to be either allowed to stay or at least released for long enough to establish their lives in the United States.
Terrorists crossing over aren’t seeking border patrol agents. They’re evading them. This is common sense that seems to have eluded NBC.
Indoctrination starts with a single conversation
Let’s talk about the “only six” argument. Yes, they were invoking the numbers in an effort to counter the White House’s inappropriate argument about the massive number of terrorists they believe are coming across the southern border. But it’s irresponsible to dismiss the number just because an isolated segment of the statistics offer a low total.
One terrorist is capable of doing great damage, as we’ve seen in the last decade. But it’s the risk of indoctrination into a radical mindset that truly makes these terrorists dangerous. They aren’t coming over here to do a quick suicide bombing before rushing off to their perceived version of heaven. They’re coming here to recruit, to meet with those who have espoused radical tendencies on social media, and to plan with others who are already here.
Six terrorists shouldn’t be dismissed
As with the indoctrination argument, the potential damage of a single terrorist or small group cannot be ignored. These aren’t law abiding migrants seeking work. They’re not drug smugglers doing harm to Americans. They’re not even gang members helping to build criminal organizations. These are terrorists with the sole purpose of rendering as much damage and death in America as possible.
They say “only six” terrorists. What we should be saying is, “Holy crap, there are six terrorists who were detained at the border. How many didn’t get caught?”
Most terrorists don’t come in through ports of entry
This is the fact that blows the NBC report out of the water. Their focus is on the terrorists who were foolish enough to try to cross the border at a port of entry. Of course they were caught. Unfortunately, they represent the tiny minority of terrorists who weren’t sophisticated enough to find a spot along our border that wasn’t a port of entry and wasn’t protected by a wall.
Also, being on the terror watch list doesn’t make them a terrorist, but not being on the terror watch list doesn’t mean they’re not a terrorist. But that’s a different discussion entirely.
Mainstream media’s attempt to reduce the impact of our porous southern border is laughable. It doesn’t take thousands of terrorists to cause massive destruction. It takes one, and there are a lot more than one crossing our border despite these reports.