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Bangladeshi Smuggler Caught Amid Rise in Migrants from Terrorist Nations

A Bangladeshi man based in Mexico has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for operating an “international human smuggling conspiracy” during a period in which the U.S. saw a spike in migrants from terrorist nations entering the country through the famously porous southern border. The smuggler, 41-year-old Mohamad Milon Hossain, lived in Tapachula in the southeast Mexican state of Chiapas bordering Guatemala. For years Hossain assisted human smugglers operating out of Bangladesh, South and Central America as well as Mexico to “bring numerous undocumented individuals to the U.S. border in exchange for payment,” according to federal documents.

The Bangladeshi smuggler maintained a hotel in Tapachula where illegal immigrants would stay on their way to the U.S., federal authorities say. He then provided the migrants with plane tickets and other tools so they could travel from Tapachula to Monterrey in the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León where a fellow smuggler took over and assisted their illegal crossing into the U.S. “Hossain was a key facilitator and smuggler of Bangladeshi nationals and his actions put our national security at risk,” said Shane Folden, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent in charge in San Antonio, Texas, where the case was cracked. Folden added that “HSI is committed to working with its domestic and international partners to combat this type of crime throughout the globe.”

When Hossain got arrested in late 2019 migrants from terrorist nations were trying to enter the United States through Mexico at record rates. At the time an alarming congressional investigation exposed an astounding 300% increase in Bangladeshi nationals attempting to sneak into the country through Texas alone. The feds apprehended Hossain after arriving on a flight at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. He was charged with smuggling 15 illegal aliens from Bangladesh through the Texas-Mexico border in exchange for payment from March 2017 to August 2018. An accomplice, stationed in Monterrey, where the aliens would stay before the last leg of their trek to the United States, has pleaded guilty for his role in the illicit scheme. The feds say he paid drivers to transport the aliens to the U.S. border and gave them instructions how to cross the Rio Grande River.

In the last few years Bangladesh has had a greater presence in the Mexican border region though Syria and Yemen are also well represented. Bangladesh is a South-Asian Islamic country well known as a recruiting ground for terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). The smuggling operation run by Hossain is part of a broader crisis involving a growing demographic of illegal aliens from terrorist nations entering the U.S. through the Mexican border. The government classifies them as Special Interest Aliens (SIA) and they are flowing north via Latin America in huge numbers, thanks to established Transitional Criminal Organizations (TCO) that facilitate travel along drug and migrant smuggling routes. Tens of thousands of SIAs—from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa—entered Panama and Colombia in recent years. Nearly all the SIA migrants were headed to the United States and most came from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bangladesh, and India. Encounters with the special interest individuals resulted in the seizure of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents—including passports and visas—that facilitated travel from their countries of origin through the Americas, The previously cited congressional probe found.

Years ago Judicial Watch, as part of an ongoing investigation into the national security threats created by the porous southern border, uncovered that Mexico is a hotbed of Islamic terrorism. Islamic jihadists are training in southern border towns near American cities and have joined forces with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate the United States. A few years ago, a high-ranking Homeland Security official confirmed to Judicial Watch that Mexican drug traffickers help Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the U.S. to explore targets for future attacks. Among the jihadists that traveled back and forth through the southern border was a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso. Another was a Saudi Al Qaeda operative, Adnan G. El Shurkrjumah, wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during his undetected cross-border jaunts.

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