- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Chechen terrorists probed
U.S. security officials are investigating a recent intelligence report that a group of 25 Chechen terrorists illegally entered the United States from Mexico in July.
The Chechen group is suspected of having links to Islamist terrorists seeking to separate the southern enclave of Chechnya from Russia, according to officials familiar with intelligence reports.
Members of the group, said to be wearing backpacks, secretly traveled to northern Mexico and crossed into a mountainous part of Arizona that is difficult for U.S. border security agents to monitor, said officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The intelligence report was supplied to the U.S. government in late August or early September and was based on information from an intelligence source that has been proved reliable in other instances, one official said.
A second U.S. official said the report is being investigated, but said it could not be determined whether the group of Chechens actually entered the country, as the intelligence source reported.
“We don’t know whether or not that report is true,” this official said.
A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that the intelligence report was provided by another government agency, but said Border Patrol agents were unable to verify its accuracy.
It could not be learned whether the reported infiltration is related to the recent Education Department warning to school officials to examine security in the aftermath of the attack last month by pro-Chechnya Muslim terrorists on a school in Russia, in which more than 300 people were killed and some 700 wounded.
In the Russian attack, heavily armed Islamists took over and wired with explosives the school building in Beslan, North Ossetia. It is believed that an accidental explosion set off a battle between Russian security personnel and the terrorists, who set off several explosions and shot schoolchildren and teachers as they tried to escape.
U.S. officials believe the Beslan terrorists included some al Qaeda-linked foreign terrorists.
The Education Department letter said that school officials should examine “protective measure guidance” for helping to prevent and respond to a similar terrorist attack, were it to occur in the United States.
The notice said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are “currently unaware of any specific, credible information indicating a terrorist threat to public and private schools, universities or colleges in the United States.”
The letter stated that indicators of terrorist surveillance before an attack include interest in site plans for schools, bus routes and attendance lists from persons who don’t normally request such information.
Authorities also were advised to remain alert for “static surveillance” by people who may be disguised as panhandlers, shoeshiners, newspaper or flower vendors, or street sweepers who seem out of place in a particular area.
Other indicators of terrorist surveillance can include spying on school security drills, people staring at employees or vehicles in parking areas, and surveillance by pedestrians.
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again