Homeland Security: To keep out Islamic State terrorists, the Saudis are building a 600-mile-long barrier — complete with five layers of fencing, underground movement censors and radar cameras — on their northern border. If they can do it ...
Good fences, it is said, make for good neighbors, which on a grand scale was the intent of the Great Wall of China in antiquity and the Israeli fences of more recent vintage. Both were designed to keep out intruders and to make sure all guests were invited guests. Unlike the Berlin Wall, they were built to keep hostiles out, not citizens in.
As the threat of IS terrorism grew in Iraq and Syria, Saudi Arabia decided it might be a good idea to put such a barrier between its citizens and those who might want to kill them. Last September, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud initiated construction of a multilayered barrier that eventually will stretch along the entire Iraqi border from Kuwait to Jordan.
Earlier this month, Saudi prudence seemed vindicated by a suicide bombing and gun attack that killed two Saudi border guards and their commanding officer right next to Iraq's Anbar province. Saudi oil fields might make a tempting IS target. The group has also said its eventual goal is to take over the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
"It is the first attack by Islamic State itself against Saudi Arabia and is a clear message after Saudi Arabia entered the international coalition against it," Mustafa Alani, an Irawi security analyst with close ties to Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry, told Reuters. The Saudis sent 30,000 troops to the border last July after IS forces swept into western Iraq and Iraqi border guards fled.
According to Jane's Defense Weekly, the barrier will be six miles deep with 79 watch towers. Monitoring will include thermal imagers and battlefield radar systems capable of detecting individuals at a distance of 12 miles and vehicles at up to 24 miles. The barrier will be patrolled by border guards and 240 rapid-response vehicles.
Contrast the Saudi fence and border security efforts with our porous border, which recently allowed tens of thousands of "unaccompanied minors" to stream across and routinely allows drug cartels and their "coyotes" to smuggle anyone across for any purpose into the United States.
Activist filmmaker James O'Keefe recently made a six-minute video showing how he was able to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into west Texas wearing a Halloween-esque Osama bin Laden costume with nary a Border Patrol officer in sight and no fence to worry about.
Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, recently testified before Congress that our southern border constituted a threat as "existential" as any foreign power, with gangs like MS-13 and terrorist group members hiding among the tidal wave of illegals. Among the "undocumented" are significant numbers of OTMs (other than Mexicans), including those from countries considered incubators or outright state sponsors of terror.
"Clearly, criminal networks can move just about anything on these smuggling pipelines," Kelly said last February to the House Armed Services Committee. "Terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even quite easily bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States."
If President Obama, instead of letting that happen, and even encouraging it with free goodies, built a fence like the Saudis, he could probably get what he calls "immigration reform" passed by a unanimous vote in both houses of Congress tomorrow.
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