90 Miles From Tyranny : A Most-Wanted American Jihadi Is Caught in Mexico at Migrant Center

Sunday, August 25, 2019

A Most-Wanted American Jihadi Is Caught in Mexico at Migrant Center

Mohammed Azharuddin Chhipa was arrested at a migrant detention center in the Mexican town of Huehuetan.

On or about August 16, Mexico’s Federal Ministerial Police issued a rare and most curious public announcement: Mexican immigration had apprehended an American citizen who was wanted on an Interpol “blue notice” warrant on suspicion of supporting violent jihad and radical Islam on digital platforms.  

The man, identified by Mexican media as “Mohammed Azharuddin Chhipa,” was found and arrested at a migrant detention center in the town of Huehuetan, just a few miles north of a heavily trammeled Guatemala border crossing for northward-moving U.S.-bound immigrants. Interpol blue notices are put out for international travelers that law enforcement suspects of involvement in a crime.The U.S. national security concern about Chhipa was such that Mexico deported him by air to Washington D.C., no doubt into the hands of FBI counterterrorism investigators.
ABSENT FURTHER DETAIL, AN OBSERVER WITH JUST THIS KNOWLEDGE MIGHT GUESS CHHIPA WAS CLANDESTINELY RETURNING HOME TO AMERICA ON THE MIGRANT TRAILS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST BATTLEFIELDS OF ISIS POSING AS A MIGRANT, AS DID MANY DOZENS OF EUROPEAN CITIZENS TO REACH THEIR HOME COUNTRIES. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE, ACCORDING TO RELIABLE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY SOURCES.

I was told that Chhipa actually was outbound from the United States and on his way toward a foreign jihadist group to join them, at least initially to Egypt. The reason Chhipa was traveling southward away from the United States was because he was on the American “no-fly” list and couldn’t depart from an American airport. He decided to find one somewhere unnamed in Latin America where no fly lists are not a thing, sources told me.

Little else about the suspect, his itinerary, or the FBI investigation could be learned, not even whether the suspect’s name is real.

But while the idea that violent Islamic jihadists crossing into the United States at the southern border has inspired significant homeland security investment and programs, American jihadists have also sought to escape no-fly list restrictions and law enforcement detection by traveling southward over the same border to get to the jihad overseas.

For example, on October 4, 2016, two Milwaukee, Wisc., men on the no-fly list were arrested near San Angelo, Texas, on their way to Mexico as part of an alleged plan to join ISIS. Authorities who had been tracking the two as they traveled south to the Mexican border arrested Islamic...

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