Say What? ‘At Least Ten ISIS Fighters Have Been Caught Coming Across the Border’

National Review

Today on NRO

JONAH GOLDBERG: California’s new “affirmative consent” law shows who the real aggressors in the culture war are. The Left Storms California’s Bedrooms.

CHARLES C.W. COOKE: For the Left, free speech is just one item within a busy hierarchy of values. Why Scripps College Doesn’t Want to Hear from George Will.

ALLISON ELLIOTT: The creative mind behind Girls has a new memoir/advice book that’s long on memories, short on advice. Lena, Oh Lena, Say Have You Met Lena?

NEW NRO BLOG: Unnaturally Political.

SLIDESHOW: Vladimir Putin’s Birthday.

Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty

October 8, 2014

Say What? ‘At Least Ten ISIS Fighters Have Been Caught Coming Across the Border’

Representative Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, does not seem like a nut job or one prone to wild exaggerations. But last night he said something jaw-dropping on Greta Van Susteren’s program:

Van Susteren: Hold on. Stop for one second.

Hunter: They are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.

Van Susteren: Let me ask a question. You say that they are coming in the southern border, which changes all the dynamics Do you have any information that they are coming in through the southern border now?


Hunter: Yes.

Van Susteren: Tell me what you know.

Hunter: At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.

Van Susteren: How do you know that?

Hunter: Because I’ve asked the border patrol, Greta.

Van Susteren And the border patrol just let's ISIS members come across the border?

Hunter: No. They caught them at the border. Therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them, you know that there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol. That's how you know. That's where we are at risk here, is from ISIS and radical Islamists coming across the border. Once again, they don't have a navy, air force, nuclear weapons. The only way that Americans are going to be harmed by radical Islam -- Chairman Dempsey said the same thing. He said that's where the major threat is here, that's how these guy guys are going to infiltrate through America and harm Americans.

Then add this comment by a House Democrat:

Rep. Tim Bishop (D., N.Y.) warned during a recent speech that up to 40 radicalized U.S. citizens who have fought alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) have already returned to the United States, where they could pose a terrorist threat.

Bishop claims that of the 100 or so Americans who have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIL’s ranks, some 40 have returned and are currently being surveilled by the FBI, according to his remarks, which were filmed and uploaded to YouTube last week.

“One of the concerns is the number of U.S. citizens who have left our country to go join up with ISIS,” Bishop said during the speech. “It is believed there have been some number up to 100 that have done that.”

“It is also believed that some 40 of those who left this country to join up with ISIS have now returned to our country,” Bishop said, eliciting shocked responses from some in the crowd.

Is the threat of Islamic State terrorists crossing our southern border no longer theoretical? Could the administration really successfully cover up something as big as this?

The Midweek Poll Roundup

Pollsters released a whole bunch of surveys Tuesday. Not many earthquakes.

In Kansas, the outlook is darkening for Senator Pat Roberts. Greg Orman is almost a parody of weather-vane politicians, pledging to caucus with whichever party has the majority at first, but adding he could switch parties later. Good luck rolling the dice, Kansas voters! Eh, who are we kidding. The guy’s a Democrat, running as an independent because he would lose the election if he said he was a Democrat. Kansans appear ready to fall for it. (If you doubt this conclusion, ask yourself, why would the Democratic candidate withdraw if they didn’t feel confident he would not align with the Republicans? Why would they concede the race against an incumbent as vulnerable as Roberts?

In the governor’s race out there, Sam Brownback isn’t doomed, but he’s in trouble.

Things look grim for Terri Lynn Land. Democrat Gary Peters enjoys steadily increasing poll leads, and the NRSC is pulling its TV ads.

Now for the good news for the GOP: Michigan governor Rick Snyder looks increasingly solid for a second term.

In Georgia, David Perdue is looking increasingly solid in his Senate race. He rarely has a big lead, but he’s only trailed in one out of the past eleven polls. In the governor’s race, Republican Nathan Deal has led 9 of the past 11 polls. Georgia Republicans can’t breathe easy quite yet, but things are looking up in the Peach State.

In Connecticut, Dannel Malloy is tied with Republican Tom Foley.

You Wasted a Couple Hundred Million Dollars? Eh, No Big Deal!

On NRO today, a look at the forgiving Democratic electorates -- four states where the state spent hundreds of millions to build insurance-exchange sites that either rarely worked or failed completely . . . where, with one exception, the lawmakers who oversaw the whole program appear set to coast to reelection.

The exception:


The Hawaiian Health Connector is on its third director in less than a year.
U.S. taxpayers gave the Hawaiian state government $204 million to build the Connector system, making it one of the most costly in the nation. It failed to work properly from the beginning, and enrollment fell way below the projections, with just 10,800 people. It was expected to become self-sustaining through user fees by the end of 2014 but earned just $40,350 in its first six months, far below the $320,000 it expected. The state legislature had to step in and provide an additional $1.5 million to keep it running.

The state did add 30,000 people to Medicaid, but 75,000 Hawaiians remain without health insurance. What’s more, those who signed up may find a strikingly limited selection of options.

In August, Hawaii’s largest health insurer announced it was pulling out of the small-business side of the state’s troubled health exchange; this left only one insurance company, Kaiser Permanente, for employers. “Michael Gold, president of Hawaii Medical Services Association (HMSA), told the AP that his staff is spending too much time and money dealing with the Connector’s technical problems.”

Hawaii stands out as a state where the failed exchange may have cost an incumbent governor his job. Governor Neil Abercrombie, whose administration implemented the Hawaiian Health Connector, was defeated in the Democratic primary by state legislator David Ige in August.
Ige called the system “a disaster” in a Democratic-primary debate and pointed out that Abercrombie had appointed four cabinet members to the Health Connector’s board. The governor countered that the Connector was “a creature of the legislature.”

Hawaii may be the state with the best sign of a public backlash against the state government for the embarrassing failures.

The problems of the state’s exchange probably helped Ige in the primary fight, and both the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Duke Aiona, and former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann, the candidate of the Hawaii Independent Party, are campaigning on scrapping the Hawaii Health Connector. Ige is critical of the program, but never quite calls for it to be scrapped entirely.

Polling in Hawaii is infrequent, but it appears Aiona has a shot at winning; the most recent poll put him just 4 percentage points behind Ige. Hannemann is carrying 8 percent.

ADDENDA: Politico offers a fascinating look back at “the Soviet spy in Congress.”

To read more, visit

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