Saturday, June 08, 2019


Dan Crenshaw -- the wounded, eyepatch-wearing Afghan War veteran who's now a congressman and Fox News star -- posted this on Twitter yesterday:

He links to this Fox story:
ISIS plotted to send westerners to US through Mexico border: report

A chilling confession from a captured ISIS fighter has shed light on how the terrorist group intended to exploit the vulnerabilities of the U.S. border with Mexico, using English speakers and westerners to take advantage of smuggling routes and target financial institutions.

Seized ISIS fighter Abu Henricki, a Canadian citizen with dual citizenship with Trinidad, last month said that he was sought out by the violent insurgency’s leadership to attack the U.S. from a route starting in Central America, according to a study by the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and published in Homeland Security Today.
Omigod! The terrorists really are coming across the Mexican border!

Except, no, they aren't. The plot was never carried out. And if it had been carried out, it would have been the stupidest plot imaginable.
Henricki allegedly traveled to Syria with the intention of serving as an ISIS fighter, but was later told he could not take on soldier duties due to a chronic illness. At the end of 2016, he claimed to have been “invited” by the ISIS intelligence wing – known as the emni – to join other Trinidadians and launch financial attacks on the U.S.

The attacks were described to Henricki as designed to “cripple the U.S. economy,” and he was said to have been informed that he would be issued false identification and passports and would be maneuvered from Puerto Rico to Mexico and then to the United States.

“The plan came from someone from the New Jersey state of America. I was going to take the boat from Puerto Rico into Mexico. He was going to smuggle me in,” the ISIS cadre continued.
Do you see why the devisers of this plot are idiots? If Henricki could get to Puerto Rico, he'd already be in America. Why, at that point, would you want to transport him out of America and into Mexico, just so he could sneak into America again? I know our president doesn't really believe that Puerto Rico is U.S. territory, but that doesn't mean that customs agents in Puerto Rico are similarly confused. I assume it would be very difficult for an ISIS fighter -- someone who'd undoubtedly have been reported to U.S. authorities by Canada, Trinidad, or both -- to clear customs on the island, even with fake documents. (If the fake documents are that good, why not just fly him into a U.S. city on the mainland?)

The researchers who reported this story say they're not aware of any other attempt to sneak an ISIS terrorist across the border. This is the only one they're aware of, and it was doomed to fail and was never carried out. So why is Crenshaw using the report to stir up fear?

Obviously, stirring up fear is what right-wingers do -- especially right-wingers like Crenshaw, who clearly has big ambitions and will probably, in the next dozen years or so, be either a member of a Republican presidential ticket or a prime-time host on Fox News, if not both.

But he's describing an idiot plot. I don't use that phrase in exactly the same way the late film critic Roger Ebert used it. Ebert defined an idiot plot in movies as "any plot containing problems that would be solved instantly if all of the characters were not idiots." Then again, maybe that is the right definition for this situation. The ISIS plotters were idiots who didn't even know that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. Crenshaw is an idiot who didn't even consider how shaky the ISIS plot was. And his intended audience is made up of idiots who believe any right-wing scare story, no matter how implausible it is.

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