Unless you’ve been asleep the last couple of days you’ve seen or heard the news that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) is in Cd. Juárez across the border from El Paso. Now step back, take a deep breath and let your pulse return to normal. ISIS is not on the US-Mexico border notwithstanding the sensationalized headlines the news media is pushing lately. Let’s take a step back and understand what’s going on here before everyone starts to demand that the US military be mobilized to deal with the imaginary threat. Of course, Perry’ already mobilized his weekend warriors, the Texas guard, to meet this latest threat but unfortunately for him he hadn’t yet been briefed on this latest headline to feed his political wants and thus he wasn’t able to use it to his advantage. However, not withstanding Rick Perry’s posturing let’s clear up the fog of political and economic misinformation.

There are no Islamic terrorist camps in Mexico training people to do harm to the US.

The sensationalized headlines are serving a purpose. It is the purpose of lining pockets with money. It is not about keeping the US safe. Money is what is behind the latest, in a long line of sensationalized headlines about terrorists massing on the US-Mexico border. Let me share with you who is benefitting financially from the fiction.

The whole story of ISIS being in Juárez originated from a single source. It is a non-profit that relies on sensationalism to drive funds to its operations. From there, the El Paso Times, KFOX TV and KVIA picked it up and ran with it. Of course FOX news and fringe “seal the border shut” groups picked up the story and ran with it as well. However, other than the original source, no other news outlet has independently collaborated the story. Instead Homeland Security has reiterated that there is no evidence of ISIS on the border. Because there is no collaborated information I believe it’s important that we examine the source of the sensationalized headline.

Judicial Watch, a self-styled “conservative, non-partisan education foundation” non-profit focused on promoting “transparency” and “accountability” in government and politics, ran a 481-word blog on August 29, 2014. In its unattributed blog post, the website asserted that “Islamic terrorists groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez [sic] and planning to attack the United States with car bombs”. The blog post then goes on to state that unnamed “high-level federal law enforcement” types have “confirmed” to the blog that a “warning bulletin” was recently issued. It adds that everyone has been “placed on alert” and that travel warnings have been issued. Of course sensationalism requires some specific keywords to make it sound official so in between “ISIS” and “explosive devices” the reader gets a dose of “famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed” as the description of the border city that is the supposed source of the upcoming attacks.

What you do not get in the entire piece are verifiable facts that the reader can use to ascertain the validity of the whole story. Not one individual is quoted nor is any document produced or even referenced to support the thesis of the whole piece. What the reader gets, instead, are “warning bulletins” and “travel warnings” and even law enforcement being put on “alert”. Yet the context, of each of these supporting pieces, is conveniently ignored.

Travel warnings, warning bulletins and security alerts are a normal response to a post-911 reality for an upcoming three-day US holiday so close to the tragedy of 911. This is a normal response to a standard operating procedure that has been ongoing for years now. Absent any credible, third party source supporting any portion of the non-profit’s essay then all it is a rumor based on someone’s need to get attention.

Therefore the question that needs to be asked is why would Judicial Watch publish this piece? Simple, it needs money. Right now the largest headlines are about ISIS and the US’ response to the threat. US citizens for the most part shrug their shoulders because subconsciously they understand that the threat is far from the US mainland and they have more pressing domestic problems then what is happening far away. Throw into the mix a little intrigue about terrorists a stone-throw away from the US mainland and immediately it grabs everyone’s attention. Heightened attention draws money.

Judicial Watch’s expenses have steadily increased by at least a million a year since 2009. Its donations have also increased as well. Its reputation, though, as compared to other similar non-profits has not kept up. According to Charity Navigator, Judicial Watch’s revenue growth has been outpaced by its expenses since 2009. As pointed out by Charity Navigator, since the recession many charities have trimmed expenses to meet declining donations. Judicial Watch’s expenses, on the other hand, have grown higher than their revenues. Thus, it becomes obvious that Judicial Watch needs to bring attention to it in order to attract new donors.

What better way is there to bring attention to an organization then to manufacture fear of imminent threat to the US mainland? Fear drives eyeballs and money eventually follows. This is precisely why the El Paso Times and all of the other news media outlets ran the headlines – to bring attention to them as well. None of them bothered to point out the context behind the headlines because it would have defeated the sensationalized headlines.

Now you know how money is the only truth behind the fiction of ISIS on the US-Mexico border.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

7 replies on “Terrorists on the Border”

  1. Mr. Paredes, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the threat. I respect you and your work. There are plenty of people, though, willing to accuse you of the very same thing as you seem to be accusing Judicial Watch of. I think it’s best to take a cautious approach to the IS (ISIS, ISIL) threat both here and abroad.

  2. First no one said there were training camps. Prior reports indicated cooperation between the cartel and terrorists, which is quite common. Groups unite for many reason, money is usually a factor.

    Car bombs ? Why cross the border with car bombs, even the terrorists would know it is easier to assemble here than transport. Haven’t you read that the terrorist are planning bubonic plaque warfare? It doesn’t have to be a large scale attack.

    Now if security was reemphasized at FT Bliss and government agencies, doesn’t that give credibility to the reports ?

    Judicial Watch has been correct in the past, so now YOU decided that they release reports as fund raisers? The terrorists have taken to the media and made repeated threats, I suppose they are also doing a fund raiser.

    If you choose to minimize or ridicule the reports, that’s your choice. But, let the rest of us decide for ourselves. We choose to err on the side of caution. I’m sure you are one of those that insist there is no cartel related drug activity in the area, although it is identified by government sources as a transistor point. But then who knows, since the government has massive debt, the reports are only fund raisers.

    Go ahead keep your head buried in the sand, and enjoy the rear entry.

  3. Sorry to ruin your narrative, ostrich, but security hasn’t been increased at Fort Bliss or anywhere else in El Paso. The threat of ISIS doesn’t exist on the U.S.-Mexican border because the LAST people ISIS would get involved with is a bunch of Santa Muerte-believing, Guadalupe tattoo-wearing, drug-smuggling cartel types. Allah would not approve of any of that, so ISIS would sooner chop the cartel members’ heads off than go into cahoots with them.

  4. We have not forgotten our history. The Krongard brothers were strategically positioned at the CIA and the Department of State to help create the problem that would be later solved through a massive transfer of wealth from the American Taxpayer to certain interests close to the Administration. We shall always remember that the Embassy in Bagdad and that in Ciudad Juarez wee built at the same time and supervised by the same people at the Department of State (DOS).

    Back in those turbulent years, a “private” army of so called courageous loyal Americans offered to protect our county, they were the Minutemen. They were out to demonstrate that Mexicans were the enemy, and that a private army would be so much more efficient in stopping the enemy. Meantime, Blackwater was lobbing for a contract worth $60 BILLION Dollars to protect the Southern Border, our Border.

    At a particular point during the Iraq war, Turkey found American guns in the hands of criminals. Soon after, Iraqi customs found that the United States Embassy was abusing its diplomatic immunity by smuggling weapons into Iraq and selling them to the Insurgents. Soon after the Iraq conflict was over.

    Ironically, the United States Department of Justice refused to assist Mexico with the identification of the weapons ceased there by the authorities. No serial numbers were provided to Mexico. We believe that the same entity that provided weapons to the Iraqui insurgents also provided weapons to the criminals in Mexico. Their purpose, make a huge amount of money selling illegal weapons “stolen” from the US Government first, and then profiting from selling security services to the US and to foreign entities threatened by the same weapons they sold.

    It is also ironic that these rumors of terrorists come at a time when peace is finally coming to Ciudad Juarez.

    Sadly, not too long ago, our newly elected Freshman Congressman made possible that WE would pay part of the cost of Border Patrol agents posted at the POE to “make sure weapons do not go into Mexico”. The last time I went to visit my Dentist in Juarez I noticed that after I had to wait in line for 15 minutes, pay $3 US Dollars toll, maneuvering into a most dangerous and stupid traffic diversion (who knows what for) there were 8 Border Patrol and ICE Officers having a wonderful chat among themselves paying Zero attention to the traffic mess they created.

  5. Fishy, had to hold my nose when reading about the “no increase” in security. So when there are extra security people or military at the gates checking IDs and some access to FT Bliss is restricted to non-military, there’s no increase in security?

    Not a keeper, throw you back into the water !

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