U.S. military intelligence analysis documents obtained by Newsweek reveal that defense officials do not believe there are terrorists or other national security threats present within the so-called "migrant caravan." Despite this, Trump has demanded that up to 15,000 military troops be dispatched to the border, to brace for an "invasion" that doesn't exist, just before the midterm elections.
These documents show that U.S. troops are preparing for encounters not so much with the asylum seekers, but with armed white supremacist American crackpots at the U.S. border. Because they are ones with all the guns. Not the migrant caravan.
"Preliminary intelligence assessments are preparing for encounters with a litany of groups from unregulated militias to transcontinental criminal organizations," reports Newsweek:
In a powerpoint presentation from Saturday, the Joint Force Land Component Commander Threat Working Group prepared an intelligence assessment for Pentagon officials as they begin to carry out Operation Faithful Patriot, the interagency operation with the Department of Defense and led by the Department of Homeland Security, that started Tuesday.
The presentation is marked as "UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO//LES," meaning, the documents are for official use only and are law enforcement sensitive. Newsweek obtained the operational planning documents earlier this week from two different Defense Department sources that have direct knowledge of U.S. Northern Command's mission on the southern U.S. border.
The documents take a detailed look at the four-point of entry locations spread across the southwest border and assesses where the caravan might travel. Two areas of concern to U.S. intelligence officials involving points of entry and transcontinental criminal organizations is the point of entry in Brownsville, Texas, where the Rio Grande River is located between Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and the San Ysidro point of entry, separating San Diego, California from Tijuana, Mexico.
The assessment underscored news reports that combatant commanders might encounter unregulated militia members along the southern border in alleged support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
"Estimated 200 unregulated armed militia members currently operating along the southwest border. Reported incidents of unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment during deployments. They operate under the guise of citizen patrols supporting CBP [Customs and Border Protection] primarily between POEs [Points of Entry]," according to the documents.
The documents go onto highlight historical protests that support immigrants crossing the U.S. border. Those protests in some cases have shut down points of entry controlled by Customs and Border Protection, but the assessment concludes that protests are "normally peaceful unless extreme right or left groups attend."
Go read the whole report, which includes an embedded copy of the original document they're referencing.
BORDER TROOPS PREPARING FOR THREAT OF ARMED, UNREGULATED MILITIAS, LEAKED DOCUMENTS SHOW
[JAMES LAPORTA AND CHANTAL DA SILVA, 11/1/18 AT 12:55 PM]
[via Rachel Maddow]
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) October 31, 2018
The US should send humanitarian aid to the caravan. Not 15,000 soldiers.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 1, 2018