The Washington Examiner on Wednesday reported that some ranchers near the southern border in New Mexico say they have discovered Islamic prayer rugs on their property in recent months.
A female rancher, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation from criminal cartels, told the Examiner, “There’s a lot of people coming in not just from Mexico.”
“People, the general public, just don’t get the terrorist threats of that,” she added. “That’s what’s really scary. You don’t know what’s coming across. We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal. It’s not just Mexican nationals that are coming across.”
The rancher lives in the remote southwestern corner of the state near a tiny town called Animas. The nearest municipality of any size in Hidalgo County is Lordsburg, the county seat where a U.S. Border Patrol station is located, some 95 miles north of the border.
With no local police department in Animas, local residents rely on the County Sheriff’s Office and Border Patrol agents for their law enforcement needs, but given the fact that so few law enforcement resources are available in the area, many residents — including the rancher — have armed themselves and rely on friends and neighbors for support in times of need.
The rancher explained during a tour of her property that she works with the Border Patrol agents who she can trust and shares information with them when she can.
“I’ve talked to several agents that I trust. There’s not a lot that I do trust, but the ones I do trust, I talk to them,” the rancher said. “What Border Patrol classifies as OTMs (other than Mexicans) has really increased in the last couple years, but drastically within the last six months. Chinese, Germans, Russians, a lot of Middle Easterners. Those Czechoslovakians they caught over on our neighbor’s just last summer.”
Watch as this armed rancher shows the reporter how illegal migrants had used a building on her property repeatedly as a waypoint rest stop on their illicit journey northward, and further described the dangers she has faced in the past on her own property.
Another area rancher, identified as Billy Darnell, told the Examiner that one of his neighbors had caught 18 women and children from the Philippines on their property at one point in 2018. The Border Patrol had been notified and the group had been taken into custody.
To be sure, government statistics reveal only a handful of known or suspected terrorists were apprehended on the border during the first half of 2018, but obviously, that number doesn’t account for how many slipped through without being apprehended, which has been estimated by some to number in the thousands.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News, “We’ve talked about the thousands — the thousands of terror watch list individuals who traveled through our hemisphere last year.”
She added, “To pretend there’s not a danger on an unsecured border, on an open border, is just ridiculous. It belies common sense.”
The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency declined to provide comment on this report from the Examiner, but the discovery of Islamic prayer rugs in the border region would seem to belie the left’s dismissal of the potential terrorist threat in the area, and raises concerns among those who adamantly insist something be done to better secure the border from such threats.