DECEMBER 16, 2015
A Middle Eastern woman was caught surveilling a U.S. port of entry on the Mexican border holding a sketchbook with Arabic writing and drawings of the facility and its security system, federal law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch.
The woman has been identified as 23-year-old Leila Abdelrazaq, according to a Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) report obtained by JW this week. Abdelrazaq appeared to have two accomplices, a 31-year-old man named Gabriel Schivone and a 28-year-old woman named Leslie Mcafee. CBP agents noticed the trio “observing the facilities” at the Port of Mariposa in Nogales, Arizona on December 2. Schivone was first noticed inside the entrance of the pedestrian area while the two women stood outside by the entry door, the CPB document states.
When federal officers asked Abdelrazaq why she was drawing sketches of the facilities she “stated because she’s never been to the border,” according to the CBP report. Abdelrazaq resisted showing officers the sketchbook, citing personal reasons, but subsequently handed it over. “During the inspection of the Abdelrazaq sketching book, CBPOs noticed the book contained writings in English and Arabic language,” federal officers write in the document. “There were drawings of what appeared to be vehicle primary inspection area and an additional drawing of pedestrian turn stile gate depicting video surveillance cameras above the gate.” The report proceeds to reveal that the drawings were “partial and incomplete.”
This distressing information comes on the heels of two separate—and equally alarming—incidents in the same vicinity. A few weeks ago JW reported that five young Middle Eastern men were apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in Amado, an Arizona town situated about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Two of the men were carrying stainless steel cylinders in backpacks, alarming Border Patrol officials enough to call the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for backup. DHS officially denies this ever occurred, but law enforcement and other sources have confirmed to JW that the two men carrying the cylinders were believed to be taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Of interesting note is that only three of the men’s names were entered in the Border Patrol’s E3 reporting system, which is used by the agency to track apprehensions, detention hearings and removals of illegal immigrants. E3 also collects and transmits biographic and biometric data including fingerprints for identification and verification of individuals encountered at the border. The other two men were listed as “unknown subjects,” which is unheard of, according to a JW federal law enforcement source. “In all my years I’ve never seen that before,” a veteran federal law enforcement agent told JW.
A week earlier six men—one from Afghanistan, five from Pakistan—were arrested in nearby Patagonia, a quaint ranch town that sits 20 miles north of the Mexican border city of Nogales. Federal authorities publicly confirmed those arrests after local media learned about them. JW has broken a number of stories involving serious terrorist threats on the southern border that have been disputed on the record by various Obama administration officials. Among these is an April report—confirmed by high-level Mexican authorities—about ISIS operating camps near the U.S. border in areas known as Anapra and Puerto Palomas west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
Last fall JW was the first to report on an Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) plot orchestrated from Ciudad Juárez to attack the U.S. with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). As a result of JW’s reporting Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army base in El Paso, increased security. The threat was imminent enough to place agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies on alert. A few weeks later JW reported that four ISIS terrorists were arrested by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.
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