Despite the stereotypes in the media, not every terrorist is going to look like he or she comes from Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. They don’t have official “Member of the International Brotherhood of Terrorism” identification cards. They will say things like, “I just need to get a job to feed my family” rather than “Will you help sneak me across the border so that I can blow up the Pentagon?” They will look like Middle Eastern in some cases, yes, but they will also look German or French or Canadian or American or Mexican in others. They will look like me and you.
Not only is this a crime that hurts the American economy — and therefore results in higher costs for consumers — it is also be the cause of serious illness or even death. If a patient is dependent upon prescription medication and is unwittingly taking counterfeit drugs, her life could be in danger. And yet, these crimes capture little attention in the media and even less in many law enforcement circles.
Last week’s arrest of 23 workers at O’Hare International Airport for allegedly using fraudulent airport security badges exposed continuing weaknesses in securing the border. This should not have happened in the post-9/11 environment where access to secure areas at our air and seaports was tightened through enhanced background checks and investigations of current and prospective employees.
The Los Angeles Times reports that a dozen people were arrested yesterday on charges of narcotics trafficking, money laundering and selling counterfeit goods after a two-year counter-terrorism and drug investigation centered in Los Angeles’ downtown garment district. The link between drug smuggling and counterfeit goods operations with the financing of terrorist activities is well known […]