Those 25 Chechen terrorists who just entered the US from Mexico were not the only such instance. From The Australian, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
INTELLIGENCE reports that 25 Chechen terrorism suspects have illegally entered the US from Mexico have refocused attention on a porous border from which many believe the next major attack on Americans could come.
Despite the $US9 billion ($12.326 billion) budget, and assurances from President George W. Bush that border security is tighter than it has ever been, public figures of all political stripes in the border states say the danger of al-Qa’ida infiltrating the US from Mexico has never been higher.
The Washington Times newspaper reported that a source told US intelligence officers the Chechens, seen carrying backpacks, were shepherded from northern Mexico in July through a remote mountainous region of Arizona that is notoriously difficult to patrol.
It is not known if this intelligence was behind the warning issued by the US Education Department for American schools to be vigilant after Chechen militants took over a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, last month, a tragedy that cost at least 344 lives, half of them children.
The Chechen report has angered those who have been warning for months that US borders are insecure.
“In the name of national security we must do something about our wide-open southern border,” said Arizona Republican congressional candidate Stan Barnes. “We are now in a war mentality. The first duty of a country in a war situation is to protect its borders.”
Experts say it is not difficult for terrorists to blend into a vast sea of an estimated 13million illegal aliens, most of them impoverished Mexicans seeking work.
To make matters worse, the Department of Homeland Security is so hopelessly overstretched that it has taken to releasing what it calls OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) because it cannot house them until it arranges for deportation hearings.
“If they’re deemed not dangerous, they’re given a notice to appear in court, and the border patrol agents even have to drive them to a bus station and watch these people get on buses for New Jersey or California,” said Cathy Travis, a senior aide to veteran Texas congressman Henry Ortiz.
Fewer than 30 per cent of the OTMs released into the US actually show up for their hearings, meaning an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens are currently in the US after being caught and released.