VIDEO: Mexican Army Crossing the Border and Firing on Americans!

June 23, 2014 By Jennifer Burke

Mexican soldiers are crossing the border into American and firing on United States citizens. Tucson based KVOA reported on this alarming trend earlier this year. Not only are these Mexican Army soldiers firing on American citizens, they are also challenging federal agents and border patrol. (Watch Video Below)

In January, soldiers from this lonely outpost of the Mexican Army drew their guns on U.S. Border Patrol agents just 50 yards into the United States. Then in March, they opened fire on Javier Jose Rodriguez, a young Tucson man visiting family in Sásabe when he was driving around the town early on a Saturday morning after drinking beers with friends. Rodriguez was shot in the arm and in the side, he spent three weeks at University of Arizona Medical Center.

These are but two instances of Mexican soldiers crossing the border, an act that has reportedly happened at least 300 times over the last 18 years. The federal government has had no real response to this troubling and dangerous trend. Although Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn requested answers from Homeland Security this Mexican Army invasion and attacks in early February, to date he has received no response.

Robert Ayers, a resident of Arivaca, describes the frightening experience that he had with Mexican soldiers who appeared late one night, landing in a helicopter behind his barn. Ayers said several men emerged from the helicopter, clad in black. The men were in full body armor, wearing masks over the faces and carried what appeared to be full automatic weapons.

Art del Cueto, President of the Border Patrol’s union in the Tucson Sector, Local 2544 said, “I mean, it’s very nerve-wracking. A lot of these encounters happen in the middle of the night where, you know, the lighting is low and you don’t know who you’re encountering. You’re sitting there and seeing a group of guys coming up to you and they’re all carrying long-arms, you don’t know what you’re encountering.” Cueto continued saying, “When you see our own government putting more emphasis on the rights of individuals who are in this country illegally already instead of trying to help out the agents and seeing these intrusions and taking them seriously, it’s very frustrating.”

Exclusive: Group At Center Of IRS Scandal Has Never Been Interviewed By FBI Investigators

By Larry O’Connor

No one from True The Vote, the highest profile organization targeted by the IRS in the scandal involving improper scrutiny of conservative-leaning non-profits, has been interviewed by the FBI or investigators from the Department of Justice, according to the group’s President, Catherine Engelbrecht.
This stunning revelation comes just days after Attorney General Eric Holder rebuffed the suggestion that an independent investigation is needed into the growing scandal. Holder told ABC News this weekend that a special investigation was unnecessary because “career people” and FBI agents were “doing a good, professional job” investigating the matter.
When I raised Holder’s assertion to Engelbrecht Monday morning during an interview on WMAL radio in Washington, DC, I asked her what her involvement and experience has been with the FBI and the DOJ, considering Holder’s claim that they were doing a “good and professional job” investigating the IRS scandal.
“That would be exactly ‘no.’ Zero. at no time have they approached us. Only when they are investigating us. Only when they are being adversarial towards us do we ever hear anything from the Department of Justice. There has been no outreach to try and get to the bottom of the scandal at any time. “
There is no doubt that for any serious and thorough investigation into the inappropriate and potentially illegal tactics used by the IRS in refusing to grant conservative groups a 501(c)4 non-profit status because of their perceived political leanings, Engelbrecht’s group would be one of the first to be interviewed.
True The Vote has been embroiled in much of the testimony and investigation in the House Oversight Committee, including an episode where Lois Lerner fed tax information to that committee’s ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings’ office. In April, Townhall’s Katie Pavlich reported on the e-mail exchange:
New IRS emails released by the House Oversight Committee show staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. True the Vote was targeted by the IRS after applying for tax exempt status more than two years ago. Further, information shows the IRS and Cummings’ staff asked for nearly identical information from True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht about her organization, indicating coordination and improper sharing of confidential taxpayer information.
*
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, along with five Subcommittee Chairmen are demanding Cummings provide an explanation for the staff inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote and for his denial that his staff ever contacted the IRS about the group.
*
“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” the letter to Cummings states. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.
The revelation from Engelbrecht that her organization has not been interviewed or contacted by the DOJ at all in the 15 months since the IRS scandal first broke calls into question just how seriously Attorney General Holder is taking the investigation and will surely add to the growing number of voices calling for an independent investigation into the scandal that now includes missing e-mails, broken hard drives and a central figure pleading the 5th amendment.

LAWSUIT: AMERICANS PUT ON TERROR DATABASE FOR BUYING COMPUTERS, WAITING FOR RELATIVES AT TRAIN STATIONS

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Californians sue government after being placed on ‘Suspicious Activity’ watch list

by STEVE WATSON | INFOWARS.COM | JULY 14, 2014

Five Californians are fighting the Department of Justice in court over the fact that they have been entered into a terrorism database over entirely innocent activities such as taking photographs, buying a computer, and even waiting for relatives to arrive at a train station.

Court House News reports that the ACLU and the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus are representing the plaintiffs, who have been entered into a “Suspicious Activity Reports” (SAR) database, and could remain on it for decades to come.

The database is part of a federal government program which encourages local and state law enforcement to report any “suspicious activity” they believe could be related to terrorism. The database is just one of many managed through the Department of Homeland Security’s controversial fusion centers.

According to a government report, over 35,000 names had been added to the database by 2013.

“An individual who is reported in a SAR is flagged as a person with a potential nexus to terrorism and automatically falls under law enforcement scrutiny which may include intrusive questioning by local or federal law enforcement agents.” the legal complaint notes.

“Even when the Federal Bureau of Investigation concludes that the person did not have any nexus to terrorism, a SAR can haunt that individual for decades, as SARs remain in federal databases for up to 30 years,” the complaint adds.

One of the plaintiffs, James Prigoff, an 86-year-old internationally renowned photographer of public art, has been on the database for a decade now, after he was “caught” taking pictures of a piece of modern art in Boston in 2004. When private security guards reported the incident to police, the FBI got involved, paying a visit to Prigoff’s house, and questioning his neighbors, according to the lawsuit.

Taking pictures of public landmarks, and taking pictures from public land is protected under the First Amendment to The Constitution.

“All I was doing was taking pictures in a public place, and now I’m apparently in a government terrorism database for decades,” Prigoff said in a statement issued by the ACLU.

“This is supposed to be a free country, where the government isn’t supposed to be tracking you if you’re not doing anything wrong. I lived through the McCarthy era, and I know how false accusations, surveillance, and keeping files on innocent people can destroy careers and lives. I am deeply troubled that the SAR program may be recreating that same climate of false accusation and fear today.”

Another of the men, lead plaintiff Wiley Gill, was entered onto the database because he was identified as a “Suspicious Male Subject in Possession of Flight Simulator Game,” by the Chico Police Department in 2012. The key fact that made Gill suspicious was that he converted to Islam while a student at a state university. Gill says that he does not own a flight simulator game, and was merely browsing a website about a video game on his computer at home. That’s correct, In America you can be entered into a terrorism database for looking at a video game website in your own home.

“The only reason that someone deemed Mr. Gill ‘suspicious’ is because he is a devout Muslim, not because he has done anything wrong,” Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus attorney Nasrina Bargzie said in a statement. “With such a lax standard, it’s not surprising that the result is religious profiling of this nature. Racial and religious profiling of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities needs to stop.”

Another of the plaintiffs was put on the terror database because he attempted to buy some computer equipment in bulk from Best Buy. The fact that Khaled Ibrahim, a U.S. citizen, is a computer network consultant didn’t matter – he has a Muslimy name, so whack him on there.

Another US citizen, Tariq Razak was placed on the terror database because he was “observed surveying entry/exit points” at the Santa Ana Train Depot. The report entered into the database describes Razak as a “Male of Middle Easter decent”, and says he was seen “exiting the facility with a female wearing a white burka head dress.” In reality he was picking up his mother from the train station. The report also referred to him as an “Arab”, despite the fact that he is of Pakistani descent. The report also contained the make, model and license plate number of Razak’s car. The security officer responsible for making the report claims that everything she did complied with the “terrorism training” she had received from the local police department’s terrorism liaison officers.

Other activities deemed to be potentially terroristic include “Abandoning a [hotel] room and leaving behind clothing, toiletries, or other items”; “Refusal of housekeeping services for extended periods”; and “Multiple visitors or deliveries to one individual or room.”

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office report on the SAR database, the program has failed to result in any arrests, convictions, or thwarted threats. ZERO. NADA.

What it has done, however, is create a sea of utter bullshit that government workers have to waste their time dealing with. In 2012, a Senate subcommittee found “‘dozens of problematic or useless’ reports ‘potentially violating civil liberties protections,’” according to the complaint.

“The Justice Department’s own rules say that there should be reasonable suspicion before creating a record on someone, but the government’s instructions to local police are that they should write up SARs even if there’s no valid reason to suspect a person of doing anything wrong,” ACLU staff attorney Linda Lye said in the statement.

Deadly dose: US labs close after mishandling highly infectious pathogens

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention have closed two labs after it was found they had made dangerous mistakes when transporting pathogens like anthrax. The CDC’s director has called the errors “unacceptable” and potentially deadly.

In response to a series of laboratory blunders, the CDC announced the closure of two labs on Friday. The organization has also placed a temporary ban on the transportation of dangerous pathogens for high-security labs.

FBI investigating vials of smallpox uncovered in unsecured lab near Washington, DC

A report carried out by the CDC revealed that over the past 10 years disease labs have mishandled potentially deadly pathogens.

“These events revealed totally unacceptable behavior,” said CDS Director Tom Frieden to press on Friday. “They should never have happened. I’m upset, I’m angry, I’ve lost sleep over this, and I’m working on it until the issue is resolved.”
Frieden added that the staff involved had knowingly disregarded laboratory protocol and would be disciplined accordingly.

The latest incident this year happened in June when as many as 75 CDC employees were exposed to a live strain of anthrax in Atlanta, after failing to deactivate the deadly bacteria according to lab protocol.

The potentially infectious samples of the pathogen were then sent out to other laboratories ill-equipped to deal with them. Staff members also handled the samples, which should have been deactivated without following correct safety procedures.

Reuters/Fabrizio BenschReuters/Fabrizio Bensch

The previous incident, which was disclosed on Friday, happened in May when a sample of non-pathogenic avian influenza was accidentally cross-contaminated with a potentially lethal kind of flu (H5N1). No lab workers were exposed to the pathogen, but it was shipped to a lab administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Frieden said the most distressing aspect of the latter case was that although it happened in May, the CDC only found out about it this week.

The CDC says that there have been no reported infections after the two incidents and all workers involved had been offered vaccines and antibiotics.

‘Humdinger’: Swine flu virus which killed half-million modified to ‘incurable’

The latest revelations followed an announcement that two of six vials of smallpox discovered in a research center in Washington contained live strains of the virus. It is thought to be the first time unaccounted traces of smallpox have been found in the US after the disease’s declared eradication in the 80s.

Frieden argues that the latest findings are a sign that the world needs to minimize the number of labs that deal with dangerous pathogens.

CLAIM: FEDS DETAIN, THREATEN TO CAVITY SEARCH JOURNALIST AT BORDER

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New Mexico ICE agents say photography creates “national security issue”

A U.S. journalist says a Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent threatened to perform a cavity search on him during a five hour detainment at the New Mexico border last month.

The journalist, Andy Beale, traveled with a friend to the Santa Teresa border checkpoint on June 6 to begin a new photography project analyzing the similarities between U.S. and Israeli border fences.

According to Beale, an ICE agent approached as he photographed the area and told him that as long as he did not take pictures of agents he would be left alone.

Shortly after, a group of ICE agents arrived in the area and began demanding identification as he continued photographing the fence. Beale says he and his friend were then immediately taken to a nearby immigration building where they would be handcuffed to a bench for the next three hours.

“Finally, two middle-aged men in street clothes came in. One identified himself as FBI and the other as DHS,” Beale told news site Photography Is Not A Crime.

The agents reportedly accused Beale and his friend of attempting to profit off the photographs, a felony according to the FBI agent. Trying to access Beale’s camera, one agent said, “Well, we’re going to be here for awhile then” after Beale refused to sign a consent form.

After making a short phone call, agents began discussing what charges could be brought against Beale despite no law barring journalists from photographing the area. Under duress, Beale eventually gave federal agents consent to search his camera in order to have his friend freed from custody.

Beale said that one ICE agent said, “You can see our people in that one. I’d rather they didn’t know how our people are set up” as he deleted photos with the FBI agent.

Another ICE agent even went as far as to claim that the incident was a “national security issue” before Beale was eventually released. After being released, a female Border Patrol agent attempting to intimidate Beale reportedly said that she had the authority to “look inside” him as he walked out the building.

“I was shocked to see this level of authoritarianism in the United States,” Beale said.

Despite the encounter, Beale was able to retain several photos of the area.

Journalists across the board have been met with increased hostility in light of the recent border crisis. Earlier this month, Infowars reporter Kit Daniels was threatened with federal prison time by the Department of Defense for documenting an illegal alien shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

According to the DoD, Daniels was engaged in “unauthorized photography and broadcast” that threatened the “safety and security of the installation.”

“It would appear that DoD officials are somehow more threatened by a journalist reporting on illegal immigration than they are with illegal aliens using military accommodations at taxpayers’ expense while homeless vets wander the streets,” Daniels wrote.

While in Murrieta, California covering protests at a Border Patrol processing center this week, Daniels and fellow Infowars reporter Joe Biggs were confronted by Border Patrol for attempting to film by the side of the road. Ironically, the processing center was better guarded than the border itself.

“Today police erected barricades and pushed back peaceful protesters from public areas,” Daniels said, noting the massive police presence.

Despite President Obama placing a gag order on Border Patrol agents in an effort to stifle their speech as well, Hector Harza boldly said that the U.S. government was complicit in human smuggling this week.

“Why would anyone want to hire a smuggler when the U.S. government is actually doing it for free?” Garza said.

GUN CONFISCATION BEGINS IN NEW YORK?

Nassau County man: State Police “just came to my home and took everything”

by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | JULY 10, 2014

Second amendment activists are expressing concern that authorities in New York state have begun moving towards mass gun confiscation after a man had all his firearms seized by police over a 15-year-old misdemeanor charge.

In a post on the nyfirearms.com forum entitled, “NY State Police Just Came to My Home and Took Everything,” a Nassau County man describes how he received a visit from State Police who wanted to inspect the serial number of a semi-automatic rifle he had just purchased.

“I brought him to my safe, opened it and the 2nd officer went in and took out my cx4, Remington 70 sps and Remington 870 shotgun. Then he says that I had a misdemeanor possession charge 15 years ago and all the guns will be taken,” the man wrote, adding that he was put through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System when he purchased the guns with no issues.

The post elicited a huge response from other forum members who encouraged the man to get a lawyer while advising them that he shouldn’t have allowed cops to enter his home without a warrant. Others said the case highlighted how “registration leads to confiscation.”

The man now faces having to get permission from a judge in order to have his firearms returned.

After the passage of the the NY Safe Act back in April, which was described by Governor Andrew Cuomo as the “toughest” gun control law in the United States, less than 10 per cent of residents obeyed by registering their assault-style weapons.

Some Sheriffs publicly stated that they would not order their deputies to enforce the law, while Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb derided the Safe Act as “the worst piece of legislation I have seen in my 14 years as a member of the Assembly.”

Protesters against the measure marked the deadline by shredding their registration cards during a demonstration in upstate New York, arguing that the law merely creates a new class of criminals out of responsible gun owners.

The backlash against the NY Safe Act mirrors what happened in Connecticut, where residents were required by law to register high capacity magazines and assault rifles manufactured after 1994, yet just 13% of gun owners complied.

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HIGH-LEVEL NSA OFFICIAL: THE NSA HAS BECOME “J. EDGAR HOOVER ON SUPER STEROIDS”

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Spying On – and Blackmailing – Politicians, Generals, Judges, Lawyers and Citizens

by WASHINGTON’S BLOG | JULY 10, 2014

The newly-published revelations from Edward Snowden show that the NSA and FBI spied on anAmerican citizen running for political office:

The NSA also surveilled a U.S. citizen while he ran for political office:https://t.co/UzFya8ltmjpic.twitter.com/3jZdsYxQRG

The Washington Post’s report last week also shows that the NSA also collected information on President Obama, both as president-elect and as president:

A “minimized U.S. president-elect” begins to appear in the files in early 2009, and references to the current “minimized U.S. president” appear 1,227 times in the following four years.
While the particular NSA reports discussed by the Washington Post don’t specifically mention Obama by name, the Post notes:

[These minimization attempts] border on the absurd, using titles that could apply to only one man.
Of course, the NSA has pretty much admitted to spying on Congress. And see this.

And even the raw data on American citizens collected by the NSA is shared with Israel. This likelyincludes Congress members and other politicians, as well.

But these new reports add some weight to the allegations of high-level NSA whistleblower Bill Binney, who told Washington’s Blog that NSA surveillance allows the government to target:

“[CIA head] General Petraeus and General Allen and others like [New York State Attorney General] Elliot Spitzer”
“Supreme Court Judges, other judges, Senators, Representatives, law firms and lawyers, and just anybody you don’t like … reporters included”
Binney also told us on Monday:

Bulk collection of everything gives law enforcement all the data they need on every citizen in the country. And, it gives NSA all that info on everyone too. Makes them akin to a J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids.
FBI head Hoover was famous for blackmailing everyone … including politicians. The New York Timesreports:

J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadillos and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example.
Alfred McCoy – Professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison – provides details:

Upon taking office on Roosevelt’s death in early 1945, Harry Truman soon learned the extraordinary extent of FBI surveillance. “We want no Gestapo or Secret Police,” Truman wrote in his diary that May. “FBI is tending in that direction. They aredabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail.”

After a quarter of a century of warrantless wiretaps, Hoover built up a veritable archive of sexual preferences among America’s powerful and used it to shape the direction of U.S. politics. He distributed a dossier on Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson’s alleged homosexuality to assure his defeat in the 1952 presidential elections,circulated audio tapes of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philandering, and monitoredPresident Kennedy’s affair with mafia mistress Judith Exner. And these are just a small sampling of Hoover’s uses of scandal to keep the Washington power elite under his influence.

“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” recalled William Sullivan, the FBI’s chief of domestic intelligence during the 1960s, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter…’ From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.” After his death, an official tally found Hoover had 883 such files on senators and 722 more on congressmen.

***

With a few hundred cable probes and computerized decryption, the NSA can now capture the kind of gritty details of private life that J. Edgar Hoover so treasured and provide the sort of comprehensive coverage of populations once epitomized by secret police like East Germany’s Stasi. And yet, such comparisons only go so far.

After all, once FBI agents had tapped thousands of phones, stenographers had typed up countless transcripts, and clerks had stored this salacious paper harvest in floor-to-ceiling filing cabinets, J. Edgar Hoover still only knew about the inner-workings of the elite in one city: Washington, D.C. To gain the same intimate detail for an entire country, the Stasi had to employ one police informer for every six East Germans — an unsustainable allocation of human resources. By contrast, the marriage of the NSA’s technology to the Internet’s data hubs now allows the agency’s 37,000 employees a similarly close coverage of the entire globe with just one operative for every 200,000 people on the planet.

***

In the Obama years, the first signs have appeared that NSA surveillance will use the information gathered to traffic in scandal, much as Hoover’s FBI once did. In September 2013, the New York Times reported that the NSA has, since 2010, applied sophisticated software to create “social network diagrams…, unlock as many secrets about individuals as possible…, and pick up sensitive information likeregular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner.”

***

By collecting knowledge — routine, intimate, or scandalous — about foreign leaders, imperial proconsuls from ancient Rome to modern America have gained both the intelligence and aura of authority necessary for dominion over alien societies. The importance, and challenge, of controlling these local elites cannot be overstated. During its pacification of the Philippines after 1898, for instance, the U.S. colonial regime subdued contentious Filipino leaders via pervasive policing that swept up both political intelligence and personal scandal. And that, of course, was just what J. Edgar Hoover was doing in Washington during the 1950s and 1960s.

***

According to James Bamford, author of two authoritative books on the agency, “TheNSA’s operation is eerily similar to the FBI’s operations under J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s where the bureau used wiretapping to discover vulnerabilities, such as sexual activity, to ‘neutralize’ their targets.”

The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer has warned that a president might “ask the NSA to use the fruits of surveillance to discredit a political opponent, journalist, or human rights activist. The NSA has used its power that way in the past and it would be naïve to think it couldn’t use its power that way in the future.” Even President Obama’s recently convened executive review of the NSA admitted: “[I]n light of the lessons of our own history… at some point in the future, high-level government officials will decide that this massive database of extraordinarily sensitive private information is there for the plucking.”

Indeed, whistleblower Edward Snowden has accused the NSA of actually conducting such surveillance. In a December 2013 letter to the Brazilian people, he wrote, “They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target’s reputation.” If Snowden is right, then one key goal of NSA surveillance of world leaders is not U.S. national security but political blackmail— as it has been since 1898.
Postscript: NSA whistleblower Russell Tice (a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping), also says:

The NSA isspying onandblackmailingits overseers in Washington, as well as Supreme Court judges, generals and others
The agency started spying on Barack Obama when he was just a candidate for the Senate

Violent MS-13 Gang Members Leave Graffiti on Bathroom Walls of Nogales Border Patrol Processing Center

An internal Border Patrol executive summary obtained by Townhall confirms that at least 16 unaccompanied illegal minors (those under the age of 18, according to U.S. government policy), are members of the brutal El Salvadorian street gang Mara Salvatrucha—or MS-13.

Gang members left graffiti on the walls of the Nogales Border Patrol processing center, which suggested they had ties to the organization.

“Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) and Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBPOs), assigned to The Nogales Placement Center (NPC), discovered that 16 unaccompanied alien children (13 El Salvadoran males, two Guatelmalan males and one Honduran male) currently being held at the NPC are members of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). The MS-13 gang members admitted to their gang associations following a discovery of graffiti at the NPC. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) were notified,” the summary states. “Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) were notified.”

The FBI describes MS-13 activity as “perpetuating violence—from assaults to homicides, using firearms, machetes, or blunt objects—to intimidate rival gangs, law enforcement, and the general public. They often target middle and high school students for recruitment. And they form tenuous alliances…and sometimes vicious rivalries…with other criminal groups, depending on their needs at the time.”

It was reported earlier that these MS-13 gang members, some of whom have admitted to murder and torture in their home countries, are being held for placement inside the United States.

“But remember, this is a ‘humanitarian crisis.’ They are just kids,” a source working in the Nogales processing center said in frustrated and sarcastic tone. “They are MS-13 gang members. They’ve done everything from torture to murder. They act as teenage ‘enforcers.’”

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‘Undetectable bomb’ threat: US urges increased security on international flights

Amid concerns of an Al-Qaeda effort to create an undetectable bomb, the US has ordered tighter security at some airports in Europe and the Middle East offering direct flights to the United States.

On Wednesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said he directed the Transportation Security Administration to put more security measures in place after sharing “recent and relevant” information with foreign allies.

“Aviation security includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by an evolving environment,” Johnson said in a statement. “We will continue to adjust security measures to promote aviation security without unnecessary disruptions to the traveling public.”

American intelligence has picked up indications that bomb makers from Al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have traveled to Syria to link up with the Al-Qaeda affiliate there, al-Nusra Front. The groups are working to perfect an explosive device that could foil airport security, a counterterrorism official told the Associated Press.

AFP Photo / Stan HondaAFP Photo / Stan Honda

The move was not unexpected, as intelligence agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, have been debating their options for months, and top-level officials met at the White House last week to discuss the issue.

“[This threat] is different and more disturbing than past aviation plots,” one source told ABC News earlier this week.

Radical Muslims traveling to war-torn Syria and Iraq pose a threat to Western nations because they will be able to enter the countries without visas on European passports.

“We’ve seen Europeans who are sympathetic to their cause traveling into Syria and now may travel into Iraq, getting battle-hardened. Then they come back,” President Barack Obama told NBC News in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Officials are concerned that bombs made with non-metallic explosives could be surgically implanted in jihadists’ bodies. Previous attempts by AQAP have involved suicide bombers with explosives hidden in their underwear on commercial flights and hidden in printer cartridges on cargo flights.

One of the places with heightened security will be British airports. “The beefed up security will fuel fears of massive queues at airports over the summer although the Department for Transport said the extra measures – which have not been disclosed – were not expected to cause ‘significant disruption’ and noted that the official UK threat status remained unchanged,” the Telegraph reported.

AFP Photo / Chip SomodevillaAFP Photo / Chip Somodevilla

The measures may include closer scrutiny of personal electronics and footwear, but government officials would not reveal any specifics.

“We have taken the decision to step up some of our aviation security measures. For obvious reasons we will not be commenting in detail on those changes,” a Department for Transport spokesman said. “The majority of passengers should not experience significant disruption. There will be no change to the threat level, which remains at substantial.”

“The safety and security of the public is our paramount concern. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures and we will continue to take all the steps necessary to ensure that public safety is maintained.”

Asked Monday by ABC News whether his European counterparts were doing enough to address the threat emanating from Syria, FBI Director James Comey said European authorities are “doing a tremendous amount of work” but that it was “hard for [him] to say” whether it’s enough to prevent the threat from materializing.