An Urdu-to-English dictionary was not something Mike Vickers expected to find on the rocky earth underneath the cattle fencing around his 1,000-acre Texas ranch.
Yet there it was — dropped, Vickers guesses, when its carrier got zapped by his fence’s electricity, and adding yet another dimension to the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, where tens of thousands of people have been flooding into the United States.
Vickers’ property line runs along Highway 281, just 4 1/2 miles north from the Falfurrias Border Patrol station. The station itself is about 70 miles north of the Rio Grande, the first highway checkpoint for vehicles coming from Mexico in an area known for heavy illegal alien and drug trafficking. Instead of moving through the checkpoint, however, Vickers said that up to 30 people cross his property every day to try to evade the Border Patrol. Years ago, it was only a handful a day.
While local ranchers have to contend with torn-up fences, broken water lines, contaminated wells and robbery on a daily basis from illegal immigrants streaming through, a Texas Border Patrol agent told TheBlaze there is “no doubt” that among the hordes of Central Americans are also crossers from Pakistan and Afghanistan, raising significant national security concerns.
“We have limited resources,” said the agent, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “It’s frustrating for all of us and there’s no doubt that we have OTMs [Other Than Mexicans] coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and other parts of the world that we are very concerned with — these guys won’t be turning themselves into Border Patrol like the family units or children. I expect we’ll see more the OTMs of special interest this year and next, now that they know they can get in easier and they won’t be turned back home.”
Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, is also spoken in parts of Afghanistan and India. People coming from these parts of the world are considered persons of special interest because of their potential connections to extremist groups in those regions, the agent said.
“We’ve found Korans, prayer rugs and many other unusual items at the border that certainly raise concern,” the agent said.
Vickers found the dictionary in May 2013 and reported it to the authorities. He spoke about it publicly for the first time in a documentary clip obtained exclusively by TheBlaze, speaking with filmmaker Chris Burgard. The dictionary’s former owner had flagged translated passages about using American dollars.
“We’ve been dealing with this problem for years in our own backyard but nobody would do anything about it,” Vickers’ wife, Linda, told TheBlaze. “But now that they’re shipping illegal aliens all over the country, people seem to care. I always said it would be a matter of time before our problem becomes the nation’s problem.”
Linda Vickers said authorities have apprehended people from Somalia and China on their property. Other times, people will walk right up to the front porch looking for food.
“We’ve found Korans, prayer rugs and many other unusual items at the border that…raise concern.”
In 2009, U.S. counterterrorism officials authenticated a video of an Al Qaeda recruiter threatening to smuggle a biological weapon into the United States through tunnels underneath the Mexico border — one example of how Al Qaeda is looking to exploit weaknesses in U.S. border security. That video also showed the terror group’s willingness to ally itself with white militias or other anti-government entities interested in carrying out an attack inside the homeland, according to counterterrorism officials interviewed by this reporter.
Numerous Border Patrol agents and other U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials interviewed by TheBlaze said that while Department of Homeland Security resources are being strained in handling the more than 57,000 children who have already crossed into the U.S., other porous areas along the border are being neglected, to the benefit of the cartels and more dangerous foreign criminal elements.
“Other OTMs from countries we’d be more concerned about could be circumventing us because we don’t have enough manpower. We just don’t know who’s here already,” the Texas Border Patrol agent said.
Follow Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) on Twitter
Like this story? Sign up for "Firewire" to get daily alerts about hot news on TheBlaze.