In quite remarkable testimony on the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported today that "Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the (nation's southern) border."
Predictably, Taylor's statements are getting very little other press attention.
Ten days ago, the Obama administration was heatedly denying Judicial Watch's claims, allegedly based on information from inside sources, that "Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States." Specifically, "The Department of Homeland Security quickly denied ... that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has militants stationed in Juarez, Mexico who plan an 'imminent' attack against the United States."
Squaring this circle seems to require quite a bit of bureaucratic gymnastics. One could argue that Taylor didn't actually admit that ISIS is in Mexico, just that they're working on plans to infiltrate the U.S. from there. But what kind of planning can one do if one isn't there? The earlier DHS denial could conceivably be taken as a tacit acknowledgment that ISIS is in Juarez, but just not planning an "imminent" attack.
Here are excerpts from Kredo's report (bolds are mine):
A senior Homeland Security (DHS) official confirmed to Congress on Wednesday that militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) are planning to enter the United States via the porous southern border.
Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the border.
... “Certainly any infiltration across our border would be a threat,” Taylor said, explaining that border security agents are working to tighten measures that would prevent this from taking place.
“I’m satisfied we have the intelligence and the capability on our border that would prevent that activity,” Taylor said.
However, (Arizona Senator John) McCain was dubious, referring to recent videos released by activist James O’Keefe showing him crossing the border while wearing an Osama bin Laden mask.
Asked by McCain why agents did not stop O’Keefe, Taylor could not provide an answer.
“You can’t answer it because they weren’t there to stop him,” McCain responded.
I must point out that five-term Senator McCain is a relative Johnny-come-lately when it comes to being serious about border security. Up until four years ago, when he finally had a somewhat credible primary challenger, McCain had little patience with the idea of a border fence. Then he suddenly decided that it would be a good idea to "build the danged fence."
Will the establishment press notice the virtual position reversal by the Obama administration? That's doubtful. It didn't give any credence or meaningful attention to Judicial Watch's original claims in the first place. Their journalists probably would not want to admit in the process of acknowledging Taylor's testimony that they deliberately ignored JW's scoop, and they certainly don't want to even indirectly notice the despised James O'Keefe's impact on these developments.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.