- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2014

Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Friday that he wants to redeploy U.S. military spy blimps in Afghanistan to America’s southern border.

The plan to repurposing of the large tethered blimps, known as aerostats, is part of Mr. McCaul’s $1 billion blueprint to secure the porous borders and stop the flow of illegal immigrants, contraband and possibly terrorists into the United States.

The military aerostats carry high-tech sensors and other equipment used for surveillance.​

Mr. McCaul, Texas Republican, said he came up with the idea on a recent trip to Afghanistan when he asked Gen. John Allen what would happen to the blimps after U.S. forces pull out.

“He said, ‘I’m going to leave this technology over here.’ And, I thought, you know, what about redeploying that to the southwest border?” Mr. McCaul said on “Fox & Friends.”

The congressman said that the Border Patrol already had five aerostats hovering on the southern border and that another 16 were on the way, thanks to an agreement between the Defense and Homeland Security departments.

Mr. McCaul’s proposal coincides with new warnings that the terrorist army Islamic State, also know as ISIL or ISIS, could be trying to sneak fighters across the southern border into the U.S.

A couple GOP lawmakers, including California Rep. Duncan Hunter, have claimed that Border Patrol agents have already apprehend at least 10 possible ​Islamic State terrorists at the border.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson officials strenuously refuted the claim.

The watchdog group Judicial Watch reported that four suspected Islamic State terrorist had been caught at the southern border this week.

“That hasn’t been confirmed. I talked to Homeland Security officials [and] they claimed that’s not accurate,” said Mr. McCaul.

He said the matter is under investigation, adding that the report nevertheless underscores the threat posed by an unsecured border.

“I think this demonstrates why the border is such a concern, and why it is still vulnerable, and why we need to get operational control of the border,” Mr. McCaul said.

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