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Stories by Sebastian Rotella

Former 'border czar' gives real facts about immigration

Alan Bersin says a border wall won’t address the real challenges confronting the U.S. border enforcement system: hopelessly understaffed immigration courts and lawlessness and poverty in Central America. ... Read more»0

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Sicario’s dirty war on Mexican cartels is not yet reality

Denis Villeneuve’s movie gets much right about the borderlands but crosses the line into exaggeration. A veteran border correspondent compares the film’s underworld to the one he knows. ... Read more»0

‘They ordered us to kill all the people’

Shaken by sobs, his head bowed, a former Guatemalan commando testified last week that he wept as he hurled a little boy to his death in a village well 31 years ago while a commanding officer, Lt. Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes, snarled: “This is a job for men!” ... Read more»0

Syria’s jihadi migration emerges as top terror threat in Europe, beyond

Western support for the opposition in Syria's bloody civil war raises fears of a blowback from the European extremists who've flocked to new land of jihad.... Read more»0

The terror threat and Iran’s inroads in Latin America

Last year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited his ally President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, where the firebrand leaders unleashed defiant rhetoric at the United States.... Read more»0

How the NSA’s high-tech surveillance helped Europeans catch terrorists

As debate rages in the United States about the National Security Agency’s sweeping data-mining programs, sources overseas speak about the controversy and how differing U.S. and European approaches to counterterrorism can complement each other.... Read more»0

Boston bombings

Bombing suspects echo home-grown terrorists in Madrid, London

As an eighth-grader in a Cambridge public school, suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was quiet, friendly, spoke good English and seemed at home in his adopted country. While hundreds of police officers pursued the 19-year-old during a nationally-televised rampage across Boston Friday, a former classmate recounted memories of the refugee who, according to counterterror officials, became a U.S. citizen on an ironic date: Sept. 11, 2012.... Read more»1

Although a fugitive, accused Guatemalan war criminal hasn’t run far

Retired Col. César Adán Rosales Batres, a veteran of the elite Kaibil commandos of the Guatemalan Army, is a wanted war criminal and a fugitive with an Interpol warrant on his head. But according to recent information obtained by ProPublica, he hasn't run far. The ease with which he eludes capture shows the fight for justice remains difficult in Guatemala. ... Read more»0

The new border: Illegal immigration's shifting frontier

As the net flow of immigrants from Mexico nears zero, violent and impoverished Central American countries have emerged as the fastest-rising source of illegal immigrants to the U.S. Fleeing violence as well as poverty, they journey through a gantlet of predators, crossing Mexico's southern frontier in an area that has become a U.S. national security concern.... Read more»0

How an accused Guatemalan war criminal won U.S. citizenship

In May 1985, a Guatemalan Army lieutenant named Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes deserted, flew to San Francisco and requested political asylum, asserting that leftist guerrillas in his war-torn homeland were gunning for him.... Read more»0

Father, son reunite 30 years after Guatemala massacre

It was Tranquilino Castañeda's first visit to the United States. And the first time that he would see his son in person after almost three decades during which he thought his boy had died in a massacre in Guatemala. ... Read more»0

Gov't: Hezbollah profits from U.S. cocaine sales via Mex. cartel link

U.S. authorities are building a politically explosive case that Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, finances itself through a vast drug smuggling network that links a Lebanese bank, a violent Mexican cartel and U.S. cocaine users.... Read more»0

Analysis

Assassination plot doesn't fit past Iranian behavior

The alleged Iranian plot to use Mexican cartel gunmen to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington is one of the strangest, most serious terrorism cases to surface in years, a mix of seemingly credible evidence and unlikely scenarios that departs dramatically from Iran’s past record of global terrorist activity.... Read more»0

Confessed terrorist links Pakistan's ISI to plot against Jews

An officer in Pakistan’s intelligence service chose a Jewish center as a target for the 2008 Mumbai attacks and then helped launch a new plot against Denmark, according to the star witness in a terror trial in Chicago.... Read more»0

Pakistan's ISI and terror group allied, witness says

A confessed terrorist took the stand in a Chicago courtroom Monday and described a close alliance between Pakistan's intelligence service and the Lashkar-i-Taiba terrorist group, alleging that Pakistani officers recruited him and played a central role in planning the 2008 Mumbai attacks.... Read more»0

Star witness in terror trial could heighten U.S.-Pakistan tension

The life of David Coleman Headley, a confessed American terrorist and Pakistani spy, has moved from a soap opera to a crime story to an espionage thriller embroiling the elites of India, Pakistan and the United States.... Read more»0

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