4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

"Military age men" at San Diego's southern border

"Credible threat" posed by unknown Afghans and Pakistanis

Between October 1 and mid-November of last year, 2 Afghans and 22 Pakistanis reportedly surrendered to Border Patrol agents.
Between October 1 and mid-November of last year, 2 Afghans and 22 Pakistanis reportedly surrendered to Border Patrol agents.

Among the several dozen Pakistani and Afghan men who have entered the U.S. illegally, coming into San Diego from Tijuana, two were found to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a letter sent by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter to the Department of Homeland Security.

Muhammad Azeem and Muktar Ahmad, both in their 20s, surrendered to U.S. Border Patrol agents in September, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. One was listed on the Terrorist Screening Database for “associations with a known or suspected terrorist. The other was a positive match for derogatory information in an alternative database,” according to Hunter’s letter.

Azeem and Ahmad are among dozens of men — described by Border Patrol agents as “military age and carrying U.S. cash” who began entering the U.S. through a Tijuana-based human-smuggling pipeline in September.

Pakistanis and Afghans crossing the border illegally in the San Diego sector are pretty unusual, according to Border Patrol statistics. In 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained fewer than 400 Pakistanis throughout the entire United States — at the ports of entry, airports, and along the border between ports.

Between October 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015, the San Diego sector of the Border Patrol detained 18 Pakistanis and 1 Afghan, according to Border Patrol statistics. Between October 1 and mid-November of last year, 2 Afghans and 22 Pakistanis reportedly surrendered to Border Patrol agents.

“We have detained more Pakistanis and Afghans in the first month of this fiscal year than we did all last year,” assistant chief Richard Smith confirmed in November.

In the month and a half since mid-November, 3 more Afghans and 6 more Pakistanis were detained by the Border Patrol (not including those detained at the ports of entry).

Customs officials did not return calls for their statistics on detentions at the ports of entry.

The decline in arrests had not lessened concerns, however. Federal agents say they believe that the Pakistanis have begun making an effort to avoid being caught.

Until November, they would enter in groups and seek a federal agent to surrender to, according to union officials. It is believed that they did this because illegal entrants who are not Mexican citizens and who are deemed to not pose a significant threat are generally given a date to appear at immigration court and then released on their own recognizance. (Central Americans coming to Texas and the Roma in San Diego both used the same method to enter the U.S. in the past two years.)

But that method has changed, National Border Patrol Council president Terence Shigg said. While the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector continues to apprehend Pakistanis and Afghans, they are now finding them travelling alone and often farther north of the border than the earlier surrenders.

“It’s very concerning,” Shigg said. “We have no idea what their actual intentions are because we have no effective way of backtracking. Just the males are coming and there’s no way for us to know for certain who they are and why.”

Both Azeem and Ahmad remain in ICE custody, spokeswoman Lauren Mack confirmed. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations is part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, she noted, and works closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on terrorism-related investigations.

Stratfor vice president of intelligence Fred Burton, interviewed last month, noted that identity documents from Afghanistan and Pakistan should set off alarms.

“The challenge of getting these individuals is getting who they actually are confirmed — proving identity is difficult in that environment,” Burton said. “Afghanistan and Pakistan do not have a robust identification system — these are places where there is tremendous potential for official document and visa fraud.”

Shigg said he believes that federal officials should be talking openly about this new development and committing more resources to keeping people from such countries in custody until they can be completely vetted.

“It’s not as if they don’t have the systems to sort, but they have to dedicate the resources and detention space to sorting this out,” he said. “These are credible threats.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Lake Cuyamaca poplars, low fog at airport

Natural San Diego Oct. 26 - Nov. 1
Next Article

Beating back fear of Tijuana, why I keep thinking about Mexico, a cross-border kidnapping

The normalcy of smuggling across the line, party people re-take TJ, deported but not angry
Between October 1 and mid-November of last year, 2 Afghans and 22 Pakistanis reportedly surrendered to Border Patrol agents.
Between October 1 and mid-November of last year, 2 Afghans and 22 Pakistanis reportedly surrendered to Border Patrol agents.

Among the several dozen Pakistani and Afghan men who have entered the U.S. illegally, coming into San Diego from Tijuana, two were found to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a letter sent by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter to the Department of Homeland Security.

Muhammad Azeem and Muktar Ahmad, both in their 20s, surrendered to U.S. Border Patrol agents in September, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. One was listed on the Terrorist Screening Database for “associations with a known or suspected terrorist. The other was a positive match for derogatory information in an alternative database,” according to Hunter’s letter.

Azeem and Ahmad are among dozens of men — described by Border Patrol agents as “military age and carrying U.S. cash” who began entering the U.S. through a Tijuana-based human-smuggling pipeline in September.

Pakistanis and Afghans crossing the border illegally in the San Diego sector are pretty unusual, according to Border Patrol statistics. In 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained fewer than 400 Pakistanis throughout the entire United States — at the ports of entry, airports, and along the border between ports.

Between October 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015, the San Diego sector of the Border Patrol detained 18 Pakistanis and 1 Afghan, according to Border Patrol statistics. Between October 1 and mid-November of last year, 2 Afghans and 22 Pakistanis reportedly surrendered to Border Patrol agents.

“We have detained more Pakistanis and Afghans in the first month of this fiscal year than we did all last year,” assistant chief Richard Smith confirmed in November.

In the month and a half since mid-November, 3 more Afghans and 6 more Pakistanis were detained by the Border Patrol (not including those detained at the ports of entry).

Customs officials did not return calls for their statistics on detentions at the ports of entry.

The decline in arrests had not lessened concerns, however. Federal agents say they believe that the Pakistanis have begun making an effort to avoid being caught.

Until November, they would enter in groups and seek a federal agent to surrender to, according to union officials. It is believed that they did this because illegal entrants who are not Mexican citizens and who are deemed to not pose a significant threat are generally given a date to appear at immigration court and then released on their own recognizance. (Central Americans coming to Texas and the Roma in San Diego both used the same method to enter the U.S. in the past two years.)

But that method has changed, National Border Patrol Council president Terence Shigg said. While the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector continues to apprehend Pakistanis and Afghans, they are now finding them travelling alone and often farther north of the border than the earlier surrenders.

“It’s very concerning,” Shigg said. “We have no idea what their actual intentions are because we have no effective way of backtracking. Just the males are coming and there’s no way for us to know for certain who they are and why.”

Both Azeem and Ahmad remain in ICE custody, spokeswoman Lauren Mack confirmed. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations is part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, she noted, and works closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on terrorism-related investigations.

Stratfor vice president of intelligence Fred Burton, interviewed last month, noted that identity documents from Afghanistan and Pakistan should set off alarms.

“The challenge of getting these individuals is getting who they actually are confirmed — proving identity is difficult in that environment,” Burton said. “Afghanistan and Pakistan do not have a robust identification system — these are places where there is tremendous potential for official document and visa fraud.”

Shigg said he believes that federal officials should be talking openly about this new development and committing more resources to keeping people from such countries in custody until they can be completely vetted.

“It’s not as if they don’t have the systems to sort, but they have to dedicate the resources and detention space to sorting this out,” he said. “These are credible threats.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Carnevil: Halloween Pop-Up Sip, Snack, and Show, Dia De Los Muertos Art Fundraiser

Events October 31-November 3, 2020
Next Article

Cooler weather just an opening for Pelly's clam chowder

Northwest oysters, local fish, and a sourdough bread bowl in Carlsbad
Comments
27

Gee who knew? No problem as we welcome everyone no matter their religion or their immigration status. Of course as illegal immigrants they will not be eligible for welfare but if they had come in as refugees they would get housing, food, money and jobs ahead of American citizens. We can never have enough cab drivers or janitors or any low wage job that Americans won't do. We are a welcoming people who will embrace anyone no matter who they are. Some may be terrorists but we already have them here so a few more won't matter. We can not discriminate against Pakistani and Afghan men of military age and not include Mexican men of the same age. Bring them on and if the private sector is unwilling to hire them our PC government will hire them. Creating ghettos is an American value which will enrich our country.

Jan. 5, 2016

Yeah, I'm very familiar with your past posts (i.e. "chulajuana"), so WE know where you are coming from.

Now, git back to your Faux News, I think the estrogen commercial is OVER.

Jan. 15, 2016

Still wondering why we need to seal the borders?

Jan. 6, 2016

EVER wonder why we aren't enforcing our laws?

Jan. 6, 2016

You are a sanctuary sh*tty, sounds like you're going to be ground zero for Obama's new bro's to test out their love. Own the fail and remember, we're all laughing at you so don't you Californicans go changin now, heah?

Jan. 6, 2016
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Jan. 6, 2016

WOW!! Lot's of new posters here today. And they ALL just joined today. Pretty good odds that they are all the same person. Likely all sockpuppets. Well, the more the merrier!! HAHAHAHAHAHA

Jan. 6, 2016

Yes, looks like the Trumpsters took over the FB comments to this piece.

Jan. 6, 2016

Looks like a wingnuts anonymous meeting just let out. Time to open a beer and to get some more wood for the fireplace and stove. This is gonna take a while to sort thru.

Jan. 6, 2016

Let me summarize: Obama is going to send orders any day now for Muslims to attack us, his goal from the day he announced his candidacy was to facilitate terrorists to invade USA, purging all Muslims from USA is the only sensible thing to do, Obama is planning to take our guns and give them to terrorists etc etc. What this has to do with two men approaching CBP at the border and making an asylum application is beyond me.....Maybe San Diego Reader thought it was time to pander to the lunatic, extremist fringe - shame on them for writing such a poorly researched and misleading article. But if their intent was to flush out the crazies then they sure succeeded!!!!

Jan. 7, 2016

As I said, wingnuts anonymous and sockpuppets!!!

Jan. 7, 2016

Too bad that the EPA has forced all the coal mines to close in West Virginia and Wyoming. With their explosives training, we could have used these Pashtuns to open new coal veins below the surface....as they would be using their suicide vests, there would be no necessity for payroll or benefits. Could actually make our largest resource available for energy in spite of EPA regulations....and the plants would love it!

Jan. 6, 2016

Maybe we could find some Shiite terrorists (Kuds Forces, Iraqi Militia, etc) at Gitmo and offer them security positions along the border to intercept Sunni "Holy Warriors". We could provide them with necessary gear such as movie cameras, hatchets, gasoline cans, young boys, etcetra, to carry out their 007 missions. Sort of like importing cats to get rid of rats. They enjoy "desert life" and we could provide some local sheep or goats for mealtime and evening entertainment. No fence required!

Jan. 6, 2016

There is an individual here in San Diego that is part of an "underground railroad" bringing "refugees" from the Middle East. His name is Mark Arabo. This is an excerpt from a story in the San Diego Union Tribune:

"Growing impatient, last year Arabo founded the Minority Humanitarian Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Chaldeans and other persecuted religious minorities — and, he said, runs an “underground railroad” that transports Iraqi refugees into San Diego.

While Arabo would not reveal details of his operation, Hirmiz said his family’s escape was engineered by the El Cajon resident. Their journey began on Aug. 15, 2014, when they boarded a truck in their northern Iraqi village, Batnaya, and rode to the Turkish frontier. There, a contact supplied them with a packet of plane tickets — from Turkey to a European hub, Europe to Mexico City, Mexico City to Tijuana. Hirmiz and his fellow travelers fly into Mexico, Arabo said, because the U.S. demands visas of foreign travelers. His refugees lack those documents."

So it should be no surprise that Middle Eastern migrants are showing up at the border. They have inside help. Arabo has no less than confessed that he is part of a Middle East illegal immigration operation.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/aug/22/fleeing-isis-chaldeans-el-cajon/

Jan. 6, 2016

Are you Effing kidding me? How does Republican memory begin at just 8 years ago? Oh, I know, creation theory.

Jan. 6, 2016

Maybe wingnuts anon can send some beer and chicken wings to the "militia" in Oregon before those gunners head to prison for quite a time.

Jan. 6, 2016

I think the illiterate came here to express themselves because of the cover story title where the simple story is about a beauty pageant, "Trump is the Enemy" unrelated but OK.

Jan. 7, 2016

Now how did I know the regular screechy Obamanauts would show up to poo-poo this? "Obama says everything's OK, so if you don't think everything's OK, you're a wingnut!" Seriously, some of you people are unbelievable. You willfully refuse to see what's going on right in front of your face. The liberal's capability to ignore reality is astonishing.

Jan. 7, 2016

This President has been a complete disaster for the Republicans, and great for the rest of America. The Republicans have been wrong about EVERYTHING. Idiots who waste everyone's time and money and who think that millions of Americans getting healthcare is the greatest crime ever committed. Obama is a foreigner - WRONG. Obama is a Muslim - WRONG. Obama is incompetent - WRONG. Obama is a tyrant - WRONG. I am surprised you dimwits have not rushed up to Oregon to play fort with your brother white supremacists/armed trespasser/tax cheats.

fear fear fear fear guns guns fear fear fear fear guns guns fear fear fear fear fear fear

Jan. 7, 2016

If only this would make headlines where it would count more: Washington DC and, secondarily, Sacramento.

Jan. 8, 2016

OK the rest of the 7.5 billion people on the planet - "COME ON IN!" (please bring your own toilet paper though - we don't have enough here - or anything else, for that matter).

Jan. 18, 2016

We have no idea what their actual intentions are because we have no effective way of backtracking. Just the males are coming and there’s no way for us to know for certain who they are and why. Thanks for sharing, so want to browse if I'm drawing great calendar 2019 templates? (https://www.123calendars.com/)

May 8, 2019

American military sphere had a steady economy until around three years back. It was a communist economy for around three and half decades. There is one sensible decision to make here. Here are a few in number competitors and other people who might position for a bureau position. Expectation the first round of discussions limits the field with the goal that we can hear their arrangements and vision for what's to come. No infighting or assaulting would be the most ideal situation no ammunition for trump and his cronies. He must go to spare our republic. What's key is their humankind, their unwavering focus, their encounters and what makes them qualified and equipped.

Nobody needs to catch wind aside from how they will fix what they see as the bad behavior that is going on in our nation.. by what method will they right course for America. https://writemyessaytoday.net/ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/072115/how-military-spending-affects-economy.asp

June 25, 2019
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Sept. 16, 2020

Too bad that the EPA has forced all the coal mines to close in West Virginia and Wyoming. With their explosives training, we could have used these Pashtuns to open new coal veins below the surface....as they would be using their suicide vests, there would be no necessity for payroll or benefits. Could actually make our largest resource available for energy in spite of EPA regulations....and the plants would love it! https://eduloh.com

March 28, 2020

Military spending is one area where there is no private solution to replace the public purse. No single corporation or group of citizens is sufficiently motivated enough to take financial responsibility for the cost of having a military. Basically, the government is acting on behalf of the public to ensure that the military is sufficiently well resourced to defend the nation.

In practice, however, defending the nation expands to defending a nation’s strategic interests, and the whole concept of “sufficient” is up for debate as other nations also bulk up their militaries. https://essaysmatch.com/paper-writing-service/

March 29, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 13, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close