(CNSNews.com) – The number of illegal aliens being apprehended coming across the southwest border who hail from countries with “substantial terrorist ties” is at a record high, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday in comments backed up by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Perry rejected the notion that his decision to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border was related to a prospective 2016 presidential bid.
“It hasn’t got anything to do with anything other than those numbers of individuals who are coming across the border,” he said. “And when you think about the idea that some of them are from countries that have substantial terrorist ties – whether it’s Pakistan or Afghanistan or Syria, we are at historic record highs with individuals being apprehended from those countries.”
“We say it’s time to secure the border,” he added.
Perry also said the American people would “like to see a president who leads this country and says, ‘You know what? We do have a problem on our southern border. We’re going to deal with it.’ And the president refuses to lead on this, from my perspective.”
Appearing on the same show, Rogers (R-Mich.) concurred that there was reason for concern about people from countries with terrorist links trying to infiltrate the country across the southwest border.
He recalled an alleged Iranian plot, foiled in 2011, to carry out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, beginning with the murder of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. by bombing a Washington restaurant which he was known to frequent.
“We noticed the very dangerous trend a few years ago,” Rogers said, “when the Iranian Qods force – their external terrorist group, if you will, supported by the country of Iran – was planning an operation to use the southern border to infiltrate people into the United States to kill the Saudi ambassador.”
“So, clearly our enemies and our adversaries understand that it is a weakness,” he continued. “We have seen a trend of countries that we are very concerned about, a rise in individuals being apprehended at the border. The scary part about that is those are just the ones that get apprehended.”
Rogers said the fact the border is “porous” was now known to those wanting to carry out illegal activities in the U.S.
“Everything from criminal activity, gangs – we’ve seen that surely – human trafficking, and now you see these groups who, we believe, are connected in some way with terrorist organizations at least having the understanding, and now you see the apprehensions behind it.”
“Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that they figured out it is a weakness in our national security,” he said.
When the FBI announced the exposure of the 2011 Iranian plot cited by Rogers it said that alleged Iranian agents had hired a purported Mexican drug cartel associate (who was in fact an undercover DEA agent) to carry out the attacks, which were discussed at meetings in Mexico.
An Iranian-American from Texas, Manssor Arbabsiar, was sentenced in May 2013 to 25 years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty of conspiracy and murder for hire.
A second man who was indicted but remains at large in Iran is Gholam Shakuri, believed to be a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force. Iran at the time dismissed the allegations as “prefabricated.”