A U.S. official has confirmed that ISIS (also referred to as ISIL)-affiliated agents have discussed entering the U.S. through its border with Mexico.
Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, told a Senate committee Wednesday that Sunni militants have discussed the possibility of using America's border with Mexico in Twitter messages, Bloomberg reports. He said that the security of the U.S.-Mexico border is of top priority for his department, and that Homeland Security is developing "a comprehensive southern border security strategy that will include national security risks."
"There have been Twitter and social-media exchanges among ISIL adherents across the globe speaking about that as a possibility," Taylor told the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. However, Taylor also added that he is "satisfied that we have the intelligence and the capability at our border that would prevent that activity."
Bloomberg also notes that U.S. officials are "skeptical" that Mexican drug cartels would allow ISIS agents to use their delivery routes for a U.S. attack. "We do not assess right now they have the capability to mount an effective large-scale attack on the United States," Nicholas Rasmussen, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told Bloomberg, though he also noted that ISIS' recent attacks in Europe are "a clear indication" of the group's desire to expand its operation outside the Middle East. "Left unchecked, ISIL poses a threat to all governments it considers apostate," Rasmussen said.