A couple of days ago we received information from an anonymous person telling us about information that this person wanted to share with us. Without giving it any thought we said sure. We received some documents that appear to be official and did not appear to have been published anywhere else. One particular document that caught our attention was a Naval Ministry intelligence report stamped June 10, 2010. Along with the file was a message from the anonymous source that included the following:
"THIS TOP SECRET DOCUMENT IS ABOUT WHAT THE MEXICAN INTELLIGENCE NAVY FOUND INSIDE THE 12S ROOM, AND ABOUT AHMED FILE, LISTEN, NOBODY, NOBODY IN US GOVERMENT KNOWS ABOUT THIS INF."
In addition to the above described document, we also received a copy of an official voter ID with the name of Arturo Hernandez Hernandez that appears to be the alleged Ahmed described in the document.
First and foremost, we want to make it clear that we have no way to confirm the validity of these documents, but we present it for the content it represents, readers must form their own conclusion as to the validity of such document.
However, other documents stamped Confidential Naval Ministry that were received from the anonymous source were shown to a member of Mexico's security establishment who confirmed their validity.
As the Iranian backed plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the U.S. unfolds in the media we are faced with the question of what is the true level of risk that a terrorist attack by Islamic militants or contracted agents aimed at the United States would come from across our southern border.
According to the intelligence analysts at Stratfor, "The threat is much smaller than it might initially seem — in part because of close U.S.-Mexican cooperation and primarily because the threat of U.S. retaliation on any organization that participates in terrorist activities is extremely high."
Alonzo Peña, a former ICE deputy director, was equally confident of the low risk of attack against the United States originating in Mexico.
In a story published in the San Antonio Express-News, Peña stated, "I think it's very highly unlikely any of the main cartels would get themselves involved in something like that.”
“These guys are in business to make money. They're driven by greed and by profit, but they're not stupid.”
However, the documents leaked by the anonymous source to Borderland Beat, together with ongoing criminal cases in the U.S. federal court system, paint a more complicated picture of what the risk may actually be.
In particular, the risk posed by the Somali based militant Islamic terrorist organization "Al Shabaab" (The Youth in Arabic) is highlighted.
Al Shabaab has strong links to Al Qaeda, and its latest suicide bombing in the Somali capitol of Mogadishu resulted in the deaths of more than eighty people.
In July 2010, Al Shabab was responsible for the deaths of over eighty people in bombings at bars in the Kampala, Uganda as fans watched a World Cup match.
The documents posted below are from a confidential report written by Mexican Naval intelligence and includes an analysis of evidence gathered in a raid between the days of June 7 and June 10, 2010 on a hotel room in Mexico City occupied by an individual identified as AHMED, allegedly a member of Al Shabaab.
Included in the report is a photograph of a Mexican voter's picture ID card identifying AHMED as Artuto Hernandez Hernandez, a Mexican citizen.
Mexico D.F. June 10, 2010
Report of evidence in custody
In room #12S (128?)the following was found:
1-A cylinder shaped cardboard container holding 22.7 kilograms of high explosives and sealed with a paraffin compound. Two copper cables sheathed in plastic were inserted into the paraffin.
2-An orange colored thick fabric suitcase containing 2 Motorola c115 cellphones without batteries, 4 Motorola multichannel radios with chargers, 1 Radioshack frequency counter, latex gloves, 1 dark green notebook with Arabic and Spanish writing, 1 small prayer rug with Islamic motifs, 1 bar of body soap, 1 toothbrush, 1 sealed box of toothpaste, 1 liter of nitric acid, 5 liters of pure glycerin, 1 plastic bag containing 5 fuses (3 slow burn and 3 rapid burn), 1 kilogram of gunpowder containing aluminum, 10 meters of yellow/red colored detonation cord, 5 (illegible)__opines, 150 grams of mercury.
In the interior of the toothpaste box was a 2cm x 2cm piece of photographic paper imprinted with the logo of the armed Islamic extremist Islamic group AL SHABAB, attached with brown adhesive tape.
North American authorities informed us that intelligence agents attached to the Israeli embassy have been following the trail of the alleged terrorist of Somali nationality named AHMED, who allegedly belongs to the Islamic extremist organization mentioned above, and attached is a photograph and counterfeit credential. We also have information that the explosives were to be used in an attempt against the United States embassy in Mexico and also other objectives such as consulates.
Intelligence sources from the Israeli embassy in our country maintain that AHMED has been staying since Monday June 7th at the Hotel Puebla, located on the street of the same name Puebla and 1 and ½ blocks from the home of Merida #_2, as video from surveillance cameras within the hotel show.
The documents above pose many questions:
Are they valid? There is a possibility that they are although it is impossible to independantly confirm their validity.
If this operation against Al Shabab did occur, who undertook it?
How did AHMED obtain the bomb making materials and a voter ID card? How well was his mission financed and planned?
What is the fate of AHMED?
The anonymous source's assertion that the U.S. Government had no knowledge of the operation seems improbable.
Mexico's security establishment is believed to be heavily infiltrated by U.S. intelligence agencies since the days of the Cold War. Although corrupt officials in government and law enforcement have often thwarted U.S. antidrug efforts, Mexico has always been a stalwart supporter of the U.S. against external enemies, from Communists to Islamic extremists.
Other aspects of Al Shabaab's presence in Mexico are highlighted in cases against U.S. citizens of Somali and non-Somali heritage, and resident Somali citizens in the U.S. federal court system.
Dozens of these young men have been recruited by Al Shabab agents in the U.S., especially from the large Somali expatriate community in Minnesota. These men have left for training and fighting in Somalia. Some have died, others are in U.S. custody, and others remain fugitives.
The following excerpt is from a criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota against two Al Shabaab operatives, Cabdulaahi Ahmed Farrax and Abdiweli Yassin Isse. Isse is in U.S. custody while Farrax remains at large.
28. On October 8, 2009 between 7 and 7:30 AM, FAARAX and ISSE were identified by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officer as two of three individuals dropped off by a taxi cab at the United States/Mexico border at the San Ysidro border crossing, (located South of San Diego). FAARAX and ISSE told the Officer that they would be flying from Tijuana airport to Mexico City airport and displayed airline tickets to the Officer.
Another criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court in Virginia details the case of Anthony Joseph Tracy, a U.S. citizen who converted to Islam while in prison and subsequently ran a human smuggling operation out of Kenya, illegally bringing Somali citizens into the U.S.
Tracy was detained in 2010 and although he denied smuggling Al Shabaab operatives into the U.S., that possibility cannot be ignored. Tracy obtained Cuban travel visas in Kenya for his Somali clients, allowing travel to Cuba and subsequently into the U.S. illegally through Mexico.
It is probable that the smuggling of Tracy's Somali clients from Mexico to the U.S. was handled by Mexican human smuggling rings at enormous financial profit, and human smuggling is coming increasingly under the direct control of major Mexican drug cartels.
It is also unknown how many other smuggling operations similar to Tracy's exist in problematic countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan.
To say that Mexico's drug cartels would police themselves and defer the hefty profits of smuggling these people into the U.S. should no longer be accepted as conventional wisdom. Even if they unwittingly smuggle potential terrorists into the U.S, the damage has already been done.
If these drug cartels have proven anything by their actions in Mexico, it is that financial gain will be obtained at almost any cost.
Gerardo and Ovemex contributed to this article.