Trump's terrorism argument for border wall is bogus

In a memorable televised spat in the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with Democratic Cong...

Posted: Dec 14, 2018 7:45 AM
Updated: Dec 14, 2018 7:45 AM

In a memorable televised spat in the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with Democratic Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to discuss funding for the border wall and the possibility of a government shutdown.

During the meeting, President Trump claimed that "10 terrorists" were caught at the southern border in a "short period of time."

Border control

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Immigration

Immigration politics

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations

International relations and national security

Muslim extremists

National security

North America

Political Figures - US

Political platforms and issues

Politics

Territorial and national borders

Terrorism

Terrorism and counter-terrorism

The Americas

United States

Unrest, conflicts and war

US federal government

US-Mexico border wall

White House

A query that I sent to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about the cases of the 10 arrested terrorists that President Trump referred to went unanswered.

The number cited by Trump seems to be a garbled version of an assertion by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who stated, "on average, my department now blocks 10 known or suspected terrorists a day from traveling to or attempting to enter the United States."

The main terror watch list, known as Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), consists of some 1.6 million people with suspected ties to terrorism.

But, of course, there is a big difference between being merely suspected of having some kind of putative connection to terrorism and actually being a terrorist.

In the 450 cases of jihadist terrorism in the United States since 9/11, tracked by the research institution New America, not one involved a terrorist crossing the southern border into the United States. Indeed, if a real jihadist terrorist were ever arrested at the southern border, wouldn't he be put in prison rather than being released to fight another day? And there is no evidence that any such terrorists crossing the southern border have ever been indicted or convicted of a crime.

The terrorists who have infiltrated the United States overwhelmingly did so by taking flights into the country. This is, for example, how Faisal Shahzad entered the country, after being trained by the Pakistan Taliban. Shahzad tried unsuccessfully to detonate a bomb in an SUV in Times Square on May 1, 2010.

In any event, the vast majority of jihadist terrorism cases in the United States -- 84% of them -- were carried out by American citizens or permanent residents who didn't need to infiltrate the southern border, or any border.

Indeed, every lethal act of jihadist terrorism in the United States since 9/11 has been carried out by an American citizen or legal resident.

If the border wall is supposed to ameliorate the issue of terrorism, it's pretty simple: It won't.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 157079

Reported Deaths: 2296
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah32006550
Washington21377217
Marion18625287
Clackamas13456191
Lane10373131
Jackson8569118
Umatilla770982
Deschutes602765
Yamhill380069
Linn361357
Malheur336358
Polk308845
Klamath281655
Douglas259255
Josephine240056
Benton236618
Jefferson197630
Coos159121
Union130519
Columbia127721
Wasco122226
Lincoln113920
Hood River107129
Morrow105014
Crook78118
Clatsop7796
Baker6769
Curry4387
Tillamook4302
Lake3836
Harney2786
Grant2301
Wallowa1445
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00
Eugene
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 50°
Corvallis
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Roseburg
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 51°
North Bend
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 51°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events