Americas porous southern border with Mexico is generating increasing concern. Border Patrol agents in June detained 53 Arabic-speaking men in Arizona near the border. The arrests were reported in a newspaper in Tombstone.
Those arrests took place on June 13. The same news article told of a second incident on June 21 in which 24 Mideastern men were captured after a larger group of border crossers were chased by agents. Most escaped.
Agents from the Wilcox, Ariz. Border Patrol station said they came upon the 53 men on June 13. They said the men were part of a larger group of about 100 illegal aliens in the Chiricahua Mountains foothills.
The officers said they were able to detain 71 of the men, of whom 53 were of Middle Eastern descent. They spoke very poor English and no Spanish. One agent, who is fluent in Arabic and Farsi, overheard them speaking Arabic through an air vent in the vehicle where they were being held, according to the Tombstone Tumbleweed.
The arrests on June 21 took place about 25 miles northeast of Tombstone in the area of Pierce and Sunsites.
A Border Patrol spokesman officially denied that any Middle Eastern aliens have been arrested in the area. He did confirm, however, that since Oct. 1, 2003, some 5,510 illegal aliens other than Mexicans have been stopped as they crossed the border into southern Arizona.
The spokesman told the newspaper that the term OTM (other than Mexican) really means other than Mexico or other Central and South American countries. He said such aliens are people from all over the world. He added: We apprehend them, process them, and turn them over to [the US Department of] Homeland Security and the FBI and that is all I can say.
J. David Galland, deputy editor of Defense Watch, a defense-oriented Internet publication headed by retired Col. David Hackworth, said the border patrol in recent weeks has stepped up its enforcement in southeast Arizona, including the Huachuca Mountains in Cochise County.
The Cochise County seat is Bisbee, an artsy copper mining town, with a colorful past, located just a few miles north of Americas southern border with Mexico, he wrote. At the foot of the Huachuca Mountains lies Fort Huachuca, the home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Command and school.
On July 20, it was reported that Homeland Security had deployed the Israeli-made Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicle to help border surveillance in southern Arizona. Gallands article implied the unmanned vehicles were put into service because of the threat posed by OTM aliens from the Mideast.
Source: World Tribune