Incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn said in August that “radical Islamist countries” had worked out a deal with drug cartels on the U.S.-Mexican border in order to provide “lanes of entry” past border security.
Flynn, in an interview with Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle surfaced Thursday night by CNN’s KFILE team, said he had seen pictures of Arabic-language signs near the United States border that would help people under orders from “radical Islamist countries”—he mentioned Iran specifically—to cross over without detection.
“I know from my friends in the Border Patrol, in CBP, that there are countries–radical Islamist countries, state-sponsored–that are cutting deals with Mexican drug cartels for some of what they call the ‘lanes of entry’ into our country,” Flynn said. “And I have personally seen the photos of the signage along those paths that are in Arabic. They’re like way points along that path as you come in. Primarily, in this case the one that I saw was in Texas and it’s literally, it’s like signs, that say, in Arabic, ‘this way, move to this point.’ It’s unbelievable.”
CNN found no evidence to corroborate Flynn’s claims. An April 2015 article from Judicial Watch cited anonymous sources including a Mexican police officer and Army officer who it said made claims of a terrorist training camp eight miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, though no other reports corroborate this.
A Politifact analysis of similar claims made by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), and several other politicians including then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), as well as television personalities like Sean Hannity, found no evidence that terrorist groups had planned to infiltrate the United States through its southern border. The analysis references John Wagner, then acting assistant commissioner for Custom and Border Patrol’s Office of Field Operations, who said it was far more likely for people suspected of terrorist activity to have come to the United States via plane.
Earlier in the interview, Flynn claimed that President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s motivation for accepting more refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan was “for one purpose. This is to continue to change the face, and change the nature of our country. This is not about us embracing immigration. This is about changing the very face of our country.”
“This rise of Muslims and radicalized Muslims coming into our country illegally is something that we should pay very, very close attention to,” he added later on, emphasizing that “frankly our law enforcement professionals, they know this. Their problem is they’ve got to whisper it in back rooms instead of being able to call it for what it is.”