When I was commander serving in combat, I always looked for indicators, warnings and trends, and one of the things I always wanted our unit leaders and Soldiers to pay attention to was enemy dry runs.
Did we just see a “dry run” this past week in San Diego?
There were many occasions when the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan would conduct probing tests to assess reactions. One of the typical actions would be to try and close the rear distance with one of our convoys, or worse, attempt to cut into a convoy and eventually pass on the left. We all knew that your reactions would be communicated ahead where potentially a VBIED (Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device) awaited. The best TTP (Tactic, Technique, and Procedure) used was to have the trail vehicle in a convoy an up-armored HMMWV with gun turret armed with a crew-served weapon, high caliber machine gun, M249 or M240G.
The standard procedure was if an oncoming vehicle did not heed the trail convoy warning sign, a hand gesture was given to get back. If no physical warning was heeded, then a warning shot was fired right before the vehicle. Next action of escalation was to put a round into one or both of the front tires. Of course, if the oncoming vehicle ever increased speed or acted erratically, the first shot was into the engine block — the subsequent shot went into the vehicle cab.
Before any convoy departed our base, it went through its IADs (Immediate Action Drills) based upon potential threat tactics and engagements.
But we weren’t so well prepared when illegal aliens came ashore on the west coast last week.
As reported by CNS News, “This week illegal aliens successfully landed on a San Diego beach in a panga boat on Monday and ran to shore – but, when another group tried the same thing on Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border (CBP) agents were waiting for them. Around 7am Monday morning, a horde of illegal aliens stormed a San Diego beach after coming ashore in a panga boat — panga boats are small fishing boats with outboard motors used in Central American waters. They sprinted across the beach and climbed over a wall, entering the city.” I don’t understand why there wasn’t more widespread reporting of this incident.
CNS says “seven of the illegal aliens were spotted by helicopter and later apprehended several blocks from the beach; the CBP is still looking for at least ten more who remain at-large, NBC7 in San Diego reports.”
“Then, about 1am Tuesday morning, a second panga boat filled with 20 illegal aliens was intercepted off the coast of San Diego County by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. CBP Air Interdiction Agents in an OAM Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) King Air 350ER spotted the 30-foot panga around 30 miles from the coastal city of Del Mar. The MEA crew directed two OAM Interceptor boats to the panga’s location. The OAM boats caught up with and stopped the panga about 12 miles west of the city of Oceanside at around 2:30 a.m. The United States Coast Guard Cutter Tern was also in the area providing information and assistance.”
It appears there were two illegal alien infiltration operations planned; one daylight, the other under cover of early morning darkness — coincidence or coordinated?
Why should anyone care about this report? First of all, there are some 10 male illegal aliens who successfully escaped into San Diego. Second, as reported in the video report, it seems that there was a link up coordinated with logistical support in the way of a change of clothes.
However, here is my concern. How many of you remember the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008? It lasted from November 26-29 and was a well coordinated 12-point assault against multiple targets resulting in the deaths of 154 and some 308 wounded. The attack was executed by the Islamic terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba with a group of Islamic jihadists who received intense commando style training. And just how did those ten attackers infiltrate into Mumbai? They did it by inflatable speedboats. The one assailant who was captured detailed their waterborne training and preparations.
What’s the difference between an inflatable speedboat and a panga boat? Not very much. Could it be that the illegal immigration infiltration operation from this week was a dry run for something bigger?
After all it seems they were successful in getting 10 into San Diego successfully – the same number as in Mumbai — perhaps that’s the success criteria? Maybe it was a matter of launching two different operations under separate conditions — one daylight, the other night — in order to assess reactions and potential success. For whatever reason, the daylight operation proved successful.
We are coming up on 9-11 and must be vigilant. As a member of Congress, my district was almost 80 miles of oceanfront — including the highly populated beaches of Ft. Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Palm Beach, and Juno/ Jupiter beaches. I always inquired of our local law enforcement and Coast Guard regarding the number of maritime intercepts they had conducted. After all, the Bahamas are only 50 miles away.
I do not see this incident in San Diego as an isolated coincidence, especially since we know have a serious issue with homegrown Islamic jihadism — and a porous southern border. Everyone has been watching the land crossings, but we must not ignore the seas.
Be vigilant America and those of you at sea or on our beaches, stay alert. The Mumbai attackers were discovered by local fishermen who simply let them go, and when reported to local police, their report was not taken seriously.