Last Friday, Texas Director of Homeland Security Steve McCraw told GOP convention delegates in San Antonio about an undocumented immigrant who was picked up in Texas with "links to a terrorist organization." No newspaper or other media had reported such an arrest of such significance.Zilch. Zero. Nada. Nothing. No documentation at all confirms hyped claims that Al Quaeda or other terrorist organizations are crossing the Mexican border. Why would they? The 9/11 hijackers all entered the country through airports. Like half of all illegal immigrants - they can just come here legally and overstay their visa - it's absurd to think an Al Quaeda operative would ever need to swim the river.
One of our Austin reporters pressed McCraw on his comment, but he declined to elaborate, but noted that "links" could mean two or three degrees removed from a direct tie to a terrorist organization.
I asked W. Ralph Basham, who was sworn in as CBP commissioner on Monday, if he had knowledge of McCraw's remarks.
"I have not been briefed on this particular issue you bring up," Basham said.
To his knowledge, no terrorists have been captured along the southern border, Basham said.
"I am not aware of a direct nexus to terrorists or terrorist organizations," he said, adding, "If they have, I have not been briefed on it."
This is not the first time that local or state officials have touted the capture of terrorists who crossed illegally from Mexico, but to date they have all been debunked or unconfirmed by the FBI.
So when you hear Texas' homeland security director, Governor Perry and others mentioning terrorism and the Mexican border in the same breath, remember that such claims "have all been debunked or unconfirmed by the FBI." Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the border security mavens seem to think they're entitled to their own facts.