Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the executive summary: "The first edition of A Line in the Sand, released in 2006, (hereafter 'first edition') exposed the rising threat of Mexican drug cartels and the vulnerabilities of our porous Southwest border. The horrific violence perpetrated by Mexican drug cartels continues to grow and, in many cases documented in this report, spills into the United States. The cartels now have a presence in more than 1,000 U.S. cities and dominate the wholesale illicit drug trade by controlling the movement of most of the foreign-produced drug supply across the Southwest border. This report documents the increased operational control of the cartels inside the United States, their strategy to move illegal drugs, and the bloody turf wars that have taken place between rival cartels, as they struggle to control valuable trafficking corridors. Collectively, Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) maintain firm control of drug and human smuggling routes across the U.S.- Mexico border creating safe entry for anyone willing to pay the price. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in its most recent assessment, asserts it can control only 44 percent of our border with Mexico. Terrorism remains a serious threat to the security of the United States. The Congressional Research Service reports that between September 2001 and September 2012, there have been 59 homegrown violent jihadist plots within the United States. Of growing concern and potentially a more violent threat to American citizens is the enhanced ability of Middle East terrorist organizations, aided by their relationships and growing presence in the Western Hemisphere, to exploit the Southwest border to enter the United States undetected. This second edition emphasizes America's ever-present threat from Middle East terrorist networks, their increasing presence in Latin America, and the growing relationship with Mexican DTOs to exploit paths into the United States."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security: http://homeland.house.gov/
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Listed on November 28, 2012 [Critical Releases]