Bombs on the border

Posted by: Phineas on July 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

A car bomb exploded two days ago, killing police officers and civilians in a terrorist attack. The attack didn’t occur where one might expect, Baghdad or Kabul, but in Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso:

Investigators in Mexico say a deadly attack by suspected drug cartel members in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez was a car bomb set off by mobile phone.

It is believed to be the first attack of its kind since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006, promising to curb powerful drugs gangs.

Two police officers and two medics answering an emergency were killed.

Police said the attack was retaliation for the arrest of a leader of the La Linea drug gang, Jesus Acosta Guerrero.

La Linea is part of the Juarez drug cartel.

Here’s a video report from al-Jazeera’s English-language service:

Report on Juarez bombing

(via Big Peace)

Since Calderon came to power nearly four years ago, roughly 25,000 Mexicans have died in violence related to the drug cartels. So far as is known, this is the first car-bomb attack. President Calderon claims that the violence shows the cartels are panicking, feeling the pressure put on them by his government’s security measures. That may be, but it’s nonetheless true that parts of Mexico, especially the areas that border the United States, are looking more like war zones and out of the central government’s control.

And that’s a problem for us.

We know that jihadist organizations such as Hamas and Hizbullah are trying to exploit our porous Mexican border. Recently Mexican police foiled an attempt to set up a Hizbullah cell in Tijuana. Decades of experience shows that terrorist groups will often cooperate with criminal gangs for their mutual interests and, indeed, the line between them often becomes blurred. With the cartels’ expertise in smuggling, an alliance with them would be attractive to our jihadist enemies. But what would they want in return?

How about a technology transfer?

Experts: Car bomb in Juárez mimics Middle East terrorist tactics
The car bombing in Juárez on Thursday in which three people were killed signifies an escalation of brutality and sophistication in the city’s 2-year-old drug war, officials said.

Juárez officials on Friday confirmed a car bomb with C-4 plastic explosives was detonated from a remote location.

Local experts said the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels apparently have adopted terrorists’ tactics that use suicide bombers and car bombs to kill foes or to make a point.

“It certainly seems like they’ve taken a page out of the Middle East,” said Richard Schwein, the former FBI special agent in charge of the El Paso office.

“The cartels read the news and they hear about what is happening in the Middle East with the use of car bombs and suicide bombers. I don’t think they will ever use suicide bombers here, but car bombs are easy to make and to use.”

This is the first time a car bomb has been used in the Juárez drug war, which has claimed the lives of nearly 5,800 people since in began in 2008.

Experts agree that the use of a car bomb with a sophisticated detonation system and C-4 is a new tactic, one that requires planning and deliberation.

(via Creeping Sharia, which thinks, contra Mexican authorities, that suicide attackers were involved)

Now, I’m not saying that Hamas or Hizbullah or any other jihadist group made this device for La Linea, nor that the cartel couldn’t figure out how to do it, itself. But the learning curve would be considerably shortened by training under a Hizbullah expert, and coming in the wake of a growing jihadist presence in Mexico is suggestive, at least.

And it’s something we should be very worried about.

RELATED: Mexico’s Zetas threaten to blow up a US dam? Cross-border collateral damage?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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8 Responses to “Bombs on the border”


  1. Ric Locke says:

    What always amuses me is the assumption, or implication, that bomb-building is some deep arcane art requiring great expertise.

    Bull. It’s one of the oldest technologies there is. Before there were cannon or guns, there were various things under the heading of petard — an explosive charge designed to blow up the bad other guys, often a castle wall. Then as now, the two big barriers were getting the materials and putting it together without blowing yourself up.

    And the amazing thing about the Islamists is how bad they are at it, just like they’re bad at every other type of technology. My Mexican friends are mostly at least as smart as Americans are; they don’t need al-Qaida to explain to them how to blow things up.


  2. Carlos says:

    OK, let’s look at this logically. A car bomb triggered by remote control explodes in a Mexican border town.

    Such car bombs have been going off for years in the mideast; in Israel, Iraq, and Afghanistan, specifically, but also in other places, specifically manufactured and set by Islamist terrorist organizations.

    Since there is absolutely nothing to connect the mideast bombings with the Mexican one, why should one automatically assume a terrorist organization had any part of it?

    Move along – nothing to see here.

    The above was brought to you by a person who assumed the thought pattern of a liberal, just to see where it would take him. Obviously, there is a disconnect with reality and logic in such a thought pattern.

    Never mind. I’m still in that thought pattern and have to go feed the unicorns now.

    And just wait until they start talking children into strapping on vest bombs in order to get their seventy-two regenerating virgins.

  3. Sefton says:

    But the learning curve would be considerably shortened by training under a Hizbullah expert, and coming in the wake of a growing jihadist presence in Mexico is suggestive, at least.

    I’ve long thought that the best argument against the so-called “racist”/”profiling”/”{insert term of the week}” counter argument to securing our borders is simply pointing to the numbers associated with OTM’s (Other Than Mexicans) crossing our border. I believe it was something like 45,000 in ’09 and to date this year it’s over 25,000. Granted a lot of those are from Central America, but middle eastern guys are in the mix as well.
    It just follows logic (as Carlos explained as being something liberals fail to acknowledge or adapt to) that even those jihadist elements that are probably working in border cells with the cartels are going to attack our southern weakness eventually.
    You would think that after 9-11, when we revamped all our spook organizations and put an emphasis on the Department of Homeland Security, cracked down on passport acquisition and snapped up airport security, etc….that this would be a major priority.
    But no, we don’t want to “offend” anyone (or lose a potential voting block).
    Time for the PC crap to end before we experience another 9-11.

  4. Yes the PC crap must end. It’s killing us. Obviously part of the problem with the cartels are the drug users within our borders, U.S. citizens, who are not helping the situation. From reading about the cartels it seems marijuana is most often mentioned. The evil weed is being grown in Mexico and maybe Central America. Mexico isn’t doing its job of curbing this activity in spite of what Calderon says. The cartels need to be treated like terrorists and taken out. Also this makes drug use by U.S. citizens a national security issue and it should be treated as such.

  5. Carlos says:

    “Also this makes drug use by U.S. citizens a national security issue and it should be treated as such.”

    Of course, and that’s why it’ll never, ever get done in this country.

  6. Kate says:

    Well Carlos, we all know that isn’t going to happen anytime soon…especially with folks who think drugs should be legalized. I don’t think anyone who does realizes the blood bath that would entail in the setting up of national drug dispensers across the country, especially with cartels that will not welcome the competition.

    I am sure there are those who think legalization would be a cash cow….but they aren’t thinking the whole situation through. Easy access and freedom to use addictive substances is not the way to advance a society. It is the way to dull it’s pain and mollify it’s affect to the point that those in power truly have control over your everyday life.

    Mexican society has a problem with the rule of law. Their countrymen do not respect it. They have allowed wicked and ruthless men to take over and bully them. Why? Because the are more about being happy and complacent. They have no ambition to change. Until that happens expect more of the same. In short they are cowards. That is why they are running across the borders illegally. That is why our DEA is powerless to get a handle on the illegal drug trade. As long as the general population of Mexico remains ignorant and poor these drug cartels will run roughshod over them.

  7. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    Mexico – a failed narco-terrorist state that does nothing to stop Islamofascists. Calderon and his government are more interested in sticking it to the hated gringos than fighting crime in his own country.

    And thanks to the open borders wackos that control our government and media this violence will now spill over into the US.