Midland County, Texas (CBS HOUSTON) — Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said that law enforcement agencies along the “wide open” border have received alerts to be on the lookout for terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria crossing into the United States.
Painter, who said he has worked along the border for “about eight years,” stated that alerts have been issued to border law enforcement to be on the lookout for suspicious terrorist activity, specifically involving ISIS cells being smuggled into the United States.
“I received an intelligence report that said that there was ISIS cells that were active in the Juarez area, which is the northern part of the Chihuahua state, and that they were moving around over there, that there was some activity…” Painter told Fox News. The report asked “for the sheriffs along the border to be on the alert, for all law enforcement to be on the alert, and to be on the lookout for these people maybe trying to come across.”
Painter sidestepped any direct knowledge that ISIS, specifically, is along the border, but he reiterated that the border “is wide open.”
“Well I’m saying the border is wide open, there is no control on the border, it’s not shut off,” said Painter. “There’s places along the Rio Grande you can walk across, there’s no water in it. I worked the border for eight years I walked back and forth across the Rio Grande; I was in Mexico, I was on this side. I never got challenged.
“There’s always a way to get across, there’s coyotes that bring those people across for thousands of dollars.”
Painter noted that “Muslim” items have been strewn along the border and estimated that 10 to 15 million “undocumented aliens” have crossed the border.
“I think it’d be naive to say that (ISIS is) not here…We have found Muslim clothing, they have found Quran books that are lying on the side of the trail, so we know that there are Muslims that have come across and are being smuggled into the United States,” Painter told Fox News.
Making comments similar to what he told CNN last week, Painter had a direct message for the possible terrorist cells.
“If they show their ugly head in our area, we’ll send them to hell,” said Painter. “And I think the United States needs to get busy. And they need to bomb them, they need to take them out.”
When reached out to by the Midland Reporter-Telegram, the FBI did not comment or provide a statement about the terrorist reports Painter claims to have received.