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Border Threat May Pose Biggest U.S. Terror Risk

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(David McNew/Getty Images)

(David McNew/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A recently-released video on YouTube featuring a man the federal government calls an Al-Qaida recruiter threatening a biological attack on the U.S. via the U.S. – Mexico border — one in which he claims could kill 330,000 Americans in the space of an hour.

Intelligence officials say the speaker in this Al-Jazeera video released late last year is a Kuwaiti dissident named Abdallah Al-Nafisi, considered by officials as an intellectual firebrand for the Islamic jihadist movement.

“It’s a big concern to all of us,” says Keith Slotter, Special Agent-in-Charge for the FBI. “Everybody in law enforcement, everybody in the intelligence community, because if somebody — if a potential terrorist can get into this country illegally, that is going to be a prime way for them to do it, through our borders.”

A report by a House Committee on Homeland Security says there are hundreds of illegal aliens apprehended entering the U.S. each year from countries that are known to support terrorism. Members of Hezbollah have reportedly already entered the U.S. via the southwest border with Mexico.


KCAL 9 reporter Sharon Tay talks to KFWB’s Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee

When asked how real this threat is to national security, Frank Dowse, former officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency, says there’s evidence terrorist groups are trying to use underground networks to smuggle people or weapons of mass destruction across the border — and immigrants are providing an ideal cover for them.

“It is so porous,” says Dowse. “We see all the time tens of thousands of Mexican migrants infiltrating across, and then of course we also have the coyotes smuggling people across through criminal routes.”

Since 9/11, there have been at least 5 known cases where border security was breached by suspected jihad terrorists.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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