An organization that investigates government corruption posted on its website Friday claims that Islamic terrorist groups are operating in Juárez and plan to attack the United States with car bombs and other explosives.
U.S. officials quickly rejected the claims.
Chris Farrell, investigations director for Judicial Watch, based in Washington, D.C., said in an interview that the nonprofit posted the information after several law enforcement officers shared the intelligence and expressed concerns about what they are seeing. Judicial Watch sources alleged that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is operating in Juárez.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including the Border Patrol, responded to the alleged threat with a statement; "At present, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland from ISIL (or ISIS). ..Plainly, however, violent extremists who support ISIL have demonstrated the intent and capability to target American citizens overseas, and ISIL constitutes an active and serious threat within the region.
"At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security is mindful of the potential for homegrown violent extremism inspired by radical ideology overseas, and, both through law enforcement and community outreach, we are taking steps to counter that potential threat."
A spokeswoman for the FBI in El Paso said the FBI is aware of the Judicial Watch report and is looking into it.
A U.S. State Department spokeswoman, who spoke on background only, said "We've been looking into this all day, and did not find anything."
Farrell said that the Texas Department of Public Safety communicated information about the alleged threat to law enforcement officers.
"The intelligence comes from credible sources, and there are concerns because of the threat levels associated with terrorist groups that are being discussed, and the upcoming anniversary of the 9-11 attacks against the United States," said Farrell, a former U.S. military intelligence officer. "They are hitting the streets, and are tripling efforts to stay on top of these threats."
Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas DPS in Austin, said that the law enforcement agency had no information related to the Judicial Watch article.
In recent weeks, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has stated in widely reported speeches that ISIS terrorists could have sneaked across the U.S.-Mexico border, but without offering proof that the Islamic group was actively operating in the border region.
Judicial Watch said intelligence officials "picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups about an attack on the border by groups like ISIS or Al Qaeda. "An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms," Judicial Watch said.
Lt. Col. Lee Peters, a spokesman for Fort Bliss, said, "We continuously work with local and federal law enforcement agencies to assess threat levels in El Paso and can adjust our security measures based on these assessments."
Farrell said he stood by the intelligence compiled by Judicial Watch in the online alert, which is at URL:http://www.judicialwatch.org/bulleti...eds-us-border/
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EL PASO, Texas - A newly released report from a government watchdog group alleges that ISIS terrorists are operating in Ciudad Juarez and are planning a terrorist attack on the United States with car bombs.
Judicial Watch says the information was confirmed to them by high level law-enforcement and intelligence officials.
The report states that intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to "carry an attack out on the border" and that "it's coming very soon."
Judicial Watch writes that their sources say the attacks are so imminent, that Homeland* Security, Justice, and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert, and that the commanding general at Fort Bliss is in the process of being briefed.
KFOX14 contacted Fort Bliss for a response.
"I am aware of the article and we take threats against Fort Bliss seriously," says Lt. Col. Lee Peters, a Fort Bliss spokesman. "Therefore, we continuously work with local and federal law enforcement agencies to assess threat levels in El Paso and can adjust our security measures based on these assessments. I am not sure of the validity of the article, but vigilance and preparedness are keys to maintaining a safe and secure installation."
The United States Department of Homeland Security also tells KFOX14 "The DHS and the FBI are unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland from ISIL."