An ISIS operative arrested and criminally charged in Ohio this month has confirmed that the terrorist group has cells in Mexico, according to federal authorities. Judicial Watch has reported this for years, documenting it in a series of articles as part of an ongoing investigation on the connection between drug cartels, corruption and terrorism on the southern border. In fact, last spring Judicial Watch broke a story about an ISIS camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
Though a number of high-level law enforcement, intelligence and military sources on both sides of the border have provided Judicial Watch with evidence that Islamic terrorist cells are operating in Mexico, the Obama administration has publicly denied it, both to Judicial Watch and in mainstream media outlets. Now we have a terrorism suspect in custody proudly affirming it. His name is Erick Jamal Hendricks and the U.S. has charged him with conspiring to provide ISIS and ISIL material support. Hendricks created a sleeper cell with at least ten members, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and claims that some of his jihadist “brothers” are just south of the U.S. border in Mexico. The 35-year-old lived for a short time in Charlotte, North Carolina and was arrested and charged in Ohio last week. Hendricks tried to “recruit people to train together and conduct terrorist attacks in the United States,” according to the government’s criminal complaint.
Hendricks contacted another ISIS operative, referred to as “CW-1”, who was arrested last summer, about working with him and several other terrorists to carry out attacks. “Hendricks allegedly told CW-1 that he ‘needed people’ and wanted to meet in person; that there were several ‘brothers’ located in Texas and Mexico; that he was attempting to ‘get brothers to meet face to face;’ and that he wanted ‘to get brothers to train together,’” according to a DOJ announcement. Hendricks and his sleeper cell targeted U.S. military members and a woman who organized a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas last May. Two men in body armor with assault rifles tried to carry out an attack in the Dallas suburb building where the event took place but were shot dead by police. The FBI says Hendricks was connected with the terrorism-related shooting. Federal prosecutors reveal that Hendricks vetted CW-1 by testing his religious knowledge and commitment to jihad, to die as a martyr and his desire to enter Jannah (paradise), the feds say.
The Hendricks case points to a broader issue of, not only homegrown terrorism, but the immense threat along the southern border. Islamic terrorists are training in southern border towns near American cities and have joined forces with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate the United States. Judicial Watch has investigated this national security crisis for years and interviewed local, state and federal law enforcement officials as well as military sources on both sides of the border. Besides exposing ISIS camps just miles from Texas, Judicial Watch has verified that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling foreigners from countries with terrorist links to stash areas in a rural Texas town called Acala. Judicial Watch also uncovered a massive FBI scandal involving a narco-terror ringleader with ties to ISIS and Mexican drug cartels. As part of the FBI cover-up the agency facilitated the ringleader’s release from a Chicago jail last year.