ISIS and the Tijuana Drug-Smuggling Tunnels

The United States faces a clear and present danger. It is not theoretical, it is actual. The pieces are in place. The relationships are established. The will and capability have been clearly demonstrated. And, if that’s not enough to keep you up at night, a full dress rehearsal was staged less than a year ago. Indeed, to be more precise, some half a dozen full dress rehearsals were staged less than a year ago.

My name is Dan Gordon. I am a screenwriter and author by trade, but I am also a Reserve officer in the Israel Defense Forces, and a veteran of six Middle Eastern conflicts, including last summer’s Hamas/Israel terrorist tunnel war, in which Hamas demonstrated their capability to attempt a mass-casualty terrorist attack by means of tunnels dug beneath the internationally recognized border from Gaza into southern Israel.  If you’d like to see what the first one looked like, click here for a link to a video. You will see thirteen Hamas terrorists rising up, like zombies coming out of their graves, in a recently harvested wheat field only a few hundred meters from the children’s house of the civilian agricultural community they intended to attack. Each one of them was armed with anti-tank missiles, machine guns, grenades, thousands of rounds of ammunition, handcuffs, and tranquilizer shots. The latter two were for the men, women and children, civilian hostages, they meant to take, and drag back through the tunnels, into underground cells in Gaza.

Happily, you will note three things; first, they are coming up in a wheat field which they had every reason to believe would camouflage their advance to the civilian community. Unfortunately for them, and by the grace of a merciful God, the wheat field had been harvested only a few days before, making the terrorists instantly visible to the myriad Israeli observation posts along the border with Gaza.

The second thing you will note is that, upon seeing that their wheat field had disappeared, and perhaps hearing the Israeli aerial military asset that was on patrol and instantly dispatched towards them, the terrorists decided that today was perhaps not the right day, after all, to carry out mass murder. And thus, having risen up from their terrorist attack tunnel, they made a hasty retreat back to what they hoped would be the safety of one of the dozens of tunnels they had spent five years building in preparation for last summer’s war.

The third thing you will note is that the Israeli military aerial asset fires a rocket, and the terrorists, and their tunnel opening, go boom.

None of that, however, alters the fact that Hamas had a spectacular plan, prepared for it meticulously for five years, and almost pulled it off. If you are a person of faith, you can attribute their failure to accomplish their goal to the abovementioned gracious and compassionate deity. If you are not a person of faith, you can attribute it to blind luck, and the professionalism and ever-present vigilance of the IDF.

But, here’s the scary part. That attack wasn’t the original plan. The original plan didn’t call for a dozen terrorists attacking one civilian target after an eight-day limited war with Israel. The original plan called for a sneak attack not preceded by any hostilities, in which literally hundreds of terrorists would have been dispatched through ALL of the terrorist attack tunnels in September, on a Jewish holiday, where literally thousands of people would have been gathered in each of the agricultural communities they intended to strike. It was the political leadership of Hamas that vetoed such an attack. That veto was not issued out of humanitarian concerns; it was issued because the plan violated a basic tenet of Hamas doctrine, which always calls for Hamas to be able to claim victimhood while carrying out terrorist rocket and land-based attacks. Such a sneak attack, the political leadership decided, would rob Hamas of the PR mantle of victimhood that enables them to reap literally tens of billions of dollars in “reconstruction aid” from an ever-gullible international community, which buys the victim thing hook, line, and sinker. Thus, the political leadership opted instead to kidnap and murder three Israeli schoolboys, in the hopes of dragging Israel into a war in which the terrorist tunnel attack could be seen as an answer to the Israeli Air Force’s genocidal bombardment of the helpless Palestinian people. As my Southern Christian friends are wont to say, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Now, why does this pose a threat to the United States? Because;

            A - ISIS has announced boldly, clearly, definitively and proudly, their intention to launch not just “Lone Wolf” attacks against the United States, but mass-casualty terrorist attacks, which will dwarf 9/11, and establish them as the preeminent terrorist army in the world, as befits the reborn Caliphate.

            B - Unlike Hamas, ISIS possesses no such doctrine of insisting upon the mantle of victimhood to justify their acts of barbarism. Indeed, the opposite is the case. ISIS rejoices in, glories in, is expert in, and uses as a recruiting tool, terrorist attacks that are the very height of barbarism. From beheading Christians, to burning a Moslem Jordanian pilot alive inside of a cage, ISIS knows no constraints in its barbarity.

            C - Unlike Hamas, ISIS does not need to dig tunnels between Tijuana and San Diego, or portions of Northern Mexico and Arizona and/or Texas. Those tunnels already exist, and are used by Mexican cartels to smuggle huge quantities of drugs beneath the international border, from Mexico, into the United States. The few tunnels that have already been discovered are easily capable of launching masses of terrorists, as well. Indeed, numbers of them bear signs of Middle Eastern construction. They feature reinforced concrete walls, electricity, airconditioning and, in some cases, railroad tracks, to transport heavy loads.

            D - The existence of close ties between terrorist networks and Mexican and South American drug cartels is a matter of record, and not conjecture. They have joined efforts for the sale of narcotics and military-grade weapons. The clearest example of this is Hezb’allah’s ties with numerous South American cartels. Just as the United States opposes Iran and its proxies in some areas of conflicts, and supports them in others, so too do the various terrorist organizations which, in certain areas, are at each other’s throats, join forces in other areas against the Great Satan. Namely, us.

I have recently published a book, which is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both print and e-book formats, and which will soon be a major motion picture from the same studio that did Act of Valor. The book is called Day of the Dead Book One: Gaza. If you’d like a fun, Tom Clancy-esque great summer read, I highly recommend it. I recommend it even more, however, if you care to see exactly how realistic the scenario of a mass-casualty terrorist attack, carried out by hundreds of ISIS terrorists against the United States of America via existing drug-smuggling tunnels, actually is.

In researching the book, I managed to get myself attached for several months to one of the most elite combat units in the Israel Defense Forces. That unit had the primary responsibility for locating and destroying the terrorist tunnels which pose no less than an existential threat to the state of Israel. During the period of that research, I was struck by reports that ISIS was already inside of Gaza and, indeed, had established ties in that much-to-be-pitied, terrorist-occupied enclave. Thus, ISIS was intimately aware of the tunnel warfare planned and carried out by Hamas, an organization which, like ISIS, seeks to establish a worldwide Caliphate, and regards Spain, as well as Tel Aviv, as occupied territory.

Contrary to the initial assessment of the present US Administration, it should be clear, to one and all by this point in time, that ISIS is not the “JV team in Kobe Bryant jerseys.” They have proven themselves to be adaptable, highly motivated and focused, extraordinarily well-led and organized, ruthlessly efficient in their barbarism, with a clear strategy and an ever-evolving set of tactics on the battlefield with which to assure that strategy’s success. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for those who oppose them.

The current Administration has moved from comparing them to NBA wannabes, to blithely assuring us, not unlike Baghdad Bob shortly before the demise of Saddam Hussein, that we are prevailing in our war against ISIS. That would indicate that our heads are either in the sand, or firmly implanted in an orifice in which no daylight is visible.

ISIS saw firsthand that terrorist tunnels are impervious to Western surveillance of any kind, whether from satellite, or drone, or even boots on the ground.  The drug-smuggling tunnels of Tijuana begin inside of homes, or commercial warehouses. They stretch beneath the international border, and come up, generally, inside commercial warehouses of one type or another. Thus, people are used to seeing trucks going in and out. Those digging the tunnels are invisible, and those who would use the tunnels, whether to smuggle drugs, or carry out mayhem, are dozens, if not hundreds of feet, belowground.

In Ramadhi, only last week, ISIS demonstrated the ability to convert captured US M-RAP armored vehicles into massive truck bombs, each one of which had the power of the bomb that killed and wounded hundreds of people in Oklahoma City. They showed their tactical ability to detonate a half dozen such mega-truck-bombs inside Ramadhi, instantly sowing chaos and confusion amongst the defenders of that city.

Imagine, then, the following scenario, which, I guarantee, is neither farfetched, nor difficult to achieve.

Step one: ISIS sends no more than a half dozen of the several thousand foreign fighters who have joined their ranks, many of whom possess passports which will allow them to enter the US without a visa. They are Westerners, in appearance and action. They go to San Diego, posing as tourists. Their mission is to identify targets, ingress and egress routes to same, reaction times of local authorities, and security arrangements at both the civilian and military installations which will be on their lists. This is the advance team, which gathers intelligence.

Step two: they identify their targets, and San Diego is nothing, if not a target-rich environment. Half the Pacific fleet is at anchor there. One half the Navy SEAL force of the United States of America is stationed there. Moreover, it will be noted that it is US policy that US military personnel not be allowed to carry weapons on US military bases. That is why a fat psychiatrist was able to kill and wound scores of soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas. Imagine, then, what a group of armed terrorists, with RPGs, machine guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, handcuffs and tranquilizer shots could do against San Diego PD, Shore Patrol, and rent-a-cops? In addition, there are major sports and entertainment venues that, on a regular basis, are literally packed with thousands of civilians. There are mega-resorts, and shopping malls. And let there be no mistake, there are schools full of children, who will most definitely be a prime target for attack. Columbine could not stop two pimple-faced punks. What grammar school police presence do you honestly believe could put a dent in ISIS’s day?

Step three: infiltrate a terrorist force made up of hundreds of elite ISIS fighters from various European cities into various locations in South and Central America. Have them travel in small groups, so that none draws undue attention. Take weeks, or months, if you like, to infiltrate the North, to a system of prearranged safe houses in Tijuana. Lest you think otherwise, there is nothing unusual about a slum dwelling housing a dozen or more military-age men on the Mexican border. Indeed, it’s the norm, not the exception.

Step four: hire numbers of Ryder or Hertz trucks, from various locations, using your Western terrorists, and construct ammonium nitrate/diesel fuel truck bombs. If Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols could do it, it’s not rocket science.

Step five: organize a motor pool of rented vans and trucks, which will transport your invading terrorist force to the various attack points they have chosen throughout the city.

Step six: infiltrate your scores, if not hundreds, of terrorists from their safe houses in Mexico, into the various drug-smuggling tunnels they have arranged with the cartels. ISIS is the richest terrorist organization in history. They have billions. That’s a language cartels understand. Trust me, they will have no problem renting the use of one tunnel or another, for the hundreds of millions ISIS can afford, for that purpose. The tunnels will already have been stocked with the RPGs, machine guns, grenades, etc. for each terrorist, and the beauty is, none of them have to be smuggled into Mexico. They are already there, in plentiful supply.

Step seven: at Zero Hour, detonate half a dozen truck bombs throughout San Diego. First Responders will race to those scenes. At the same time, infiltrate your terrorists, by means of the drug-smuggling tunnels, to their exit points in San Diego, and have your motor pool of trucks and vans pick them up from the commercial warehouses, and dispatch them to their various civilian and military targets. Once again, the question is obvious: “Who will stop them?”

Not the San Diego PD. Not a neutered Border Patrol. The California National Guard will take several days to mobilize, and even if the president could be persuaded to arm and order into action the very capable combat units of the US Marines at Camp Pendleton and Navy SEALS on Coronado Island, it will take hours for even the best of them to suit up, form up, and deploy. When they do deploy, they can expect specialized units of terrorists with RPGs to be waiting to shoot down the helicopters in which they will be flown to the scene. The amount of damage that an ISIS terrorist army can accomplish, before the United States can mount a viable defense, is catastrophic. It should also be remembered that neither death, nor capture, is a deterrent for ISIS terrorists. Indeed, death, or “martyrdom,” is an incentive.

ISIS watched how effective the notion of terrorist tunnel attacks was against Israel. And, mind you, Israel had ground forces, including elite infantry, tanks, and aerial assets of every description already on patrol, locked and loaded, ready for action, and needing no presidential order to respond. Moreover, once the first terrorist tunnel attack occurred, Israel seized the initiative and invaded Gaza in order to neutralize the threat. Does anyone actually believe that the current Administration would authorize an invasion of Northern Mexico? That means that our security would effectively be outsourced to the Mexican government, which, in the best of times, does not control the areas from which the terrorist attacks would emanate.

It’s all fairly well and logically laid out in my book, Day of the Dead Book One: Gaza, and Day of the Dead Book Two: America. But ISIS does not need to read the books. ISIS, I guarantee you, is at the very least already considering the plan. At worst, they are finalizing it, and beginning its implementation.

Editor's note: The author will appear on Justice with Judge Jeanine Saturday to discuss this scenario.

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