Retired Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, a former commanding common at Fort Bliss in Texas, shared his observations final week in an interview with Border Report, after bombings on the Kabul airport in Afghanistan killed at the least 13 U.S. service members in addition to scores of Afghan civilians.
Pittard doesn’t simply find out about situations at Fort Bliss, he additionally is aware of about combating terrorists in fight: After leaving Fort Bliss in 2013, Pittard led U.S. troops towards ISIS fighters in Iraq in 2014, in line with Border Report.
After the Kabul assaults, some lawmakers within the U.S. expressed concern that terrorists would possibly really feel emboldened by the Kabul carnage to attempt to enter the U.S. and launch related destruction on America soil.
“Suicide bombs in Kabul at present—suicide bombs within the U.S. tomorrow. Biden should IMMEDIATELY safe our southern border earlier than it’s too later!” U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, tweeted on Thursday.
However Pittard advised Border Report that the U.S. confronted a fair “larger downside” relating to safety right here at house: the radicalization of people that have already entered the U.S.
“Sure, (we’re) all the time involved with our border not being safe,” Pittard advised Border Report, “however I believe it’s a much bigger downside radicalizing people who find themselves already in our nation.
“The concept that they’d cross the border – they don’t need to,” Pittard mentioned, explaining that terrorist sympathizers already reside within the U.S.
Terror teams like al Qaeda, ISIS or the ISIS-Okay affiliate in Afghanistan “can radicalize folks already in our nation – which they’ve proven that they will do, and effectively,” Pittard told Border Report.
As a former commander at Fort Bliss – situated close to El Paso, Texas – Pittard is effectively conscious of the considerations of U.S. border communities, particularly in current months, as greater than 1.2 million unlawful immigrants have crossed into the U.S.
A brand new concern for the El Paso space: Each Fort Bliss in Texas and close by Holloman Air Power Base in New Mexico are among the many websites chosen to briefly home Afghan refugees as they arrive within the U.S.
Biden administration officers have been unclear about what number of Afghan refugees will likely be sheltered on the facilties, according to KVIA-TV in El Paso – and lawmakers and local people members have raised considerations about simply how effectively these arriving refugees will likely be vetted.
On Friday, for instance, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, raised security considerations relating to Fort Bliss.
“I am very involved that the Biden administration is bringing tens of hundreds of refugees into america with out totally vetting them,” Cruz told reporters in El Paso. With extra refugees coming to the U.S. by the day, Cruz claimed, inadequate vetting “is an invite to terrorist assaults right here in america.”
In response to Cruz’s remarks, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki insisted the Biden administration would “implement a number of layers of checks” to guarantee that the refugees are correctly vetted.
Pittard advised Border Report that Fort Bliss had the assets to have the ability to conduct thorough checks of refugees.
“Fort Bliss by inhabitants is within the high 5 installations within the U.S. Military,” he mentioned. “There may be loads of house. There are locations you possibly can put the Afghan immigrants and preserve them secluded till you do the right checks … so, there’s numerous room.”