I HAD MISSED THIS: ICE confirms Jordanians who attempted to breach Marine Corps Base Quantico were both in US illegally. “A spokesperson for the base said two people in a box truck were stopped at a gate, with the driver allegedly telling military police officers they were making a delivery to the post office and worked for a company subcontracted by Amazon. . . . Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is now facing scrutiny over the incident.” One of them overstayed a student visa. The other was an illegal border crosser who was caught and released on his own recognizance.

Possibly related: Mysterious shooting outside Army Special Forces residence in North Carolina raises questions. “Two Chechen men who spoke broken English were found near the soldier’s home. The family alleges the suspected intruder, 35-year-old Ramzan Daraev of Chicago was taking photos of their children. When confronted near a power line in a wooded part of the property, an altercation ensued and Daraev was shot several times at close range. A second man, Dzhankutov Adsalan, was in a vehicle some distance from the incident and was questioned by authorities and then released.” Released, huh? Plus: “U.S. Special Operations soldiers around the country have experienced strange interactions in recent years that they say involve suspicious surveillance of them and their families. Many believe that U.S. military bases have become an increasing target of foreign probes. . . . The two Chechens had no personal identification. They did have two cell phones with Russian language contacts and camera equipment. They were not wearing any uniforms for the power company that reportedly employed them.”

Okay, these are probably weird but unrelated, but if you were probing vulnerabilities in advance of a Kurt Schlichter-like attack, wouldn’t you be doing stuff like this? I think you would.

Plus: “Members of the Special Operations community are asking why two Russian-speaking Chechens were taking photos near an elite Army special forces residence at 8:15 pm on a Friday night some 10 minutes after sunset and why the FBI is not the lead in the investigation.” Why, indeed?

It was like this before 9/11 too. As I noted some time ago: “FBI investigators misunderstood the law, and were thus too slow to search Moussaoui even though the evidence in their possession was more than sufficient. The bureaucratic resistance to searching Moussaoui was so great that field agents in Minnesota wondered — before Sept. 11 — if Usama bin Laden had a mole in Bureau headquarters.”


There’s a quiet scandal at the heart of Sept. 11; one that for different reasons neither the government nor the privacy lobby really wants to talk about. It’s this: For two and a half weeks before the attacks, the U.S. government knew the names of two hijackers. It knew they were al-Qaida killers and that they were already in the United States. In fact, the two were living openly under their own names, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. They used those names for financial transactions, flight school, to earn frequent flier miles, and to procure a California identity card.

Despite this paper trail, and despite having two and a half weeks to follow the scent, the FBI couldn’t locate either man—at least not until Sept. 11, when they flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

Too busy playing politics, then and probably now.