MEHLMAN: Illegals’ Attempt To Infiltrate Marine Base Highlights The Same Negligence That Led To 9/11

(Photo By U.S. Navy/Getty Images)

Ira Mehlman Ira Mehlman is the media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
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On May 3, two Jordanian illegal aliens were apprehended as they attempted to enter the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, in a box truck. The two were posing as Amazon delivery drivers, although Amazon denies that they were employed by the company. When an alert military police officer stopped them at the gate, they attempted to force their way into the compound (which also houses the FBI’s training facility). Security personnel were able to deploy vehicle entry barriers and prevent them from breaching the base.

One of the two suspect had illegally entered the United States via the southern border in April 2024 and was released from custody with a notice to appear, according to Republican Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin. The second suspect was also in the United States illegally, having overstayed his student visas. According to a report in a local Virginia newspaper, “one of the occupants [of the truck] is on the U.S. terrorist watch list.” It has not been confirmed, but given that Virginia is one of 19 states that issues driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, it is likely that at least one of them possessed a Virginia license.

If all this sounds eerily familiar, it should. Seven of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks had valid Virginia licenses or ID documents and used them to board flights on that fateful morning. Many of those terrorists first entered the United States legally on student and tourist visas, and overstayed them. Two of them, Mohammed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, had their student visas renewed six months after 9/11. One of the hijacked planes slammed into the Pentagon — the Arlington, Virginia, headquarters of the Department of Defense — killing 125 people in the building and 64 passengers and crew aboard the airplane. Nevertheless, as of Jan. 1, 2021, Virginia resumed issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

Thankfully, no one was harmed in the incident that took place on May 3, and there were no explosives in the truck. But the attempt by two Jordanian illegal aliens to drive a truck onto the grounds of the Quantico Marine Corps Base, must be viewed in context. Just as security threats were missed or ignored prior to 9/11, top U.S. security officials today have issued dire and repeated warnings that the nation faces imminent and credible threats of attacks against the homeland.

Others reasonably speculate that the attempt to gain entry to Quantico was a precursor to a real attack. “Driving the box truck was a dry run for driving a box truck that was not going to be empty the second time,” said Dave Katz, a security consultant and former Drug Enforcement Agency official.

Katz sees the incident as having all the markings of another carefully coordinated and potentially catastrophic attack. “A student overstay somehow gets in contact with someone illegally crossing into the U.S. on the other side of the country. Both of them wind up in that truck,” he said.

Perhaps more alarming than what happened at Quantico on May 3 is what is not happening within the Biden administration and in hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions around the country. Even in light of this incident, the alarming increase in the numbers of people on the terror watchlist being encountered at our borders, and the lapses that have led to the release of some of them, the administration refuses to take meaningful action to secure our borders. Likewise, numerous needless tragedies that have resulted from state and local sanctuary policies have not resulted in these jurisdictions moving to repeal them. And none of the 19 states (and the District of Columbia) that grant licenses to illegal aliens seem likely to repeal laws.

Instead, at the federal and local level, the policy seems to be to wait — and hope — that the numerous warnings and warning signs turn out to be false alarms.

Ira Mehlman is media director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.