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Posted: 1/10/2006 5:11:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 5:12:40 AM EDT by Tactical_Jew]
www.sbsun.com
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Border agents targeted according to report
DHS says gang hired for killings
Sara A. Carter and Mason Stockstill, Staff Writers



Mexican alien smugglers plan to pay violent gang members and smuggle them into the United States to murder Border Patrol agents, according to a confidential Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by The Sun.
The Officer Safety Alert, dated Dec. 21, warns agents that the smugglers intend to bring members of the international Mara Salvatrucha street gang also known as MS-13 into the country for the deadly mission.

"Unidentified Mexican alien smugglers are angry about the increased security along the U.S./Mexico border and have agreed that the best way to deal with U.S. Border Patrol agents is to hire a group of contract killers," the alert states.

MS-13, which has a base in El Salvador, is considered by the FBI to be one of the most dangerous gangs in the United States, with more than 20,000 members.

Gang members have been found in 33 states and connected to murder, racketeering, assault, rapes and extortion. Last January, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided six cities and made more than 100 arrests of MS-13 gang members.

Intelligence officials last year reported that MS-13 gang members had been linked to terrorists seeking entry into the country.

Michael Friel, a representative for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said he could not comment directly on the memo, but noted "this wouldn't be the first time agents' lives have been threatened.

"It's no surprise that these smugglers, these criminals, would be threatening our agents," he added. "And that would be a huge mistake on their part if they try."

The alert was labeled "for official use only," meaning that although it does not contain classified information, it is not to be made public or released to the media. It also is required to be stored in a locked container and "burned or shredded" when it is no longer needed.

The memo was issued based on information from a report issued by the FBI. An FBI spokesman reached by telephone in Washington said he could not comment on the report.

A Border Patrol agent who spoke on condition of anonymity said agents in the field have been worried since the release of the alert in December.

"It's not just people coming over here to pick lettuce. These gang members, criminals, are endangering American lives," the agent said.

"Our vests won't stop a rifle bullet, and many of us out here feel like sitting ducks," he said.

Over the past year, Border Patrol agents have warned they are facing more danger than ever before along the divide between the two countries. Many believe stepped-up enforcement by the United States has led to a similar increase in violence by drug smugglers and border crossers.

Last week, agents in Texas reported two separate incidents where someone fired on them from the Mexican side of the border. Officers in Arizona were issued pocket-sized cards last year with


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suggested maneuvers in case they encounter Mexican military troops while on patrol.

On Dec. 30, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed an 18-year-old Mexican man agents said had thrown a rock at U.S. officials after crossing the border.

Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, chairman of the House Rules Committee and one of the GOP's immigration-reform advocates, said security for Border Patrol agents is essential.

"First of all, we need to provide Border Patrol agents with all the resources they need to protect themselves, we need to hire more agents, and we need to make sure we're tracking and targeting gangs coming across the border," Dreier said Monday night. "The security of our agents is of the upmost concern."

T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, an association representing agents, said Monday that the Homeland Security alert is more proof agents often are putting their lives at risk. Assaults on agents doubled last year, according to Bonner.

"MS-13 has shown that its members have very little regard for human life," he said. "Some of the atrocities they have committed are truly unspeakable, and it worries me to know that our agents on the line are now the targets. I don't know what it's going to take to wake up the folks in Washington."

Some anti-illegal-immigrant organizations blame the Bush administration for what they say is a lackadaisical attitude about border security.

"The president still acts like Mexico is a friendly neighbor when in reality, it's the complete opposite," said Andy Ramirez, chairman of Friends of the Border Patrol, a Chino organization that supports border agents. "Border Patrol agents' lives are in extremely high danger, and yet the public isn't notified. When are they going to realize that threats against our law-enforcement officers are threats against this nation?"



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Officer Safety Alert
Alert No. 010-06 was issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, to Border Patrol officers on Dec. 21. It warns:

Unidentified Mexican alien smugglers are angry about the increased security along the U.S./Mexico border and have agreed that the best way to deal with U.S. Border Patrol agents is to hire a group of contract killers. The alien smugglers intend to smuggle members of the MS-13 gang into the United States for the sole purpose of killing U.S. Border Patrol agents.

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