A series of files from Mexico’s Army revealed that in at least six separate cases, foreign terrorists tried to recruit members in the country or online. Some of the individuals listed in the report went on to take part in terrorist attacks in Europe and were later arrested or killed.
In one of the cases, military forces learned of a man who was part of a Muslim community in Tijuana. The man was a vocal sympathizer of Daesh (ISIS) in certain circles and had been trying to recruit like-minded individuals, promote terrorist actions, and stockpile explosives. The man tried to get legal residency status in Mexico through a sham marriage with a Mexican citizen, but immigration authorities deported him. Months later, U.S. authorities shared information with Mexican military forces that the man had been arrested and was part of an ISIS cell.
Another case dealt with an Iraqi male who lived in the state of Guanajuato. During questioning, the man said Al Qaeda was a perfect project and believed in the teachings of Osama Bin Laden. The man told authorities that he helped between 30 to 40 foreigners to travel to Syria and join ISIS. The individuals helped by the Iraqi included a man in Egypt who was “neutralized” for having suicidal intentions.
The military leaks also detailed attempts by foreign terrorists to indoctrinate and recruit underage teen girls in Mexico through Facebook. In one of the cases, a 14-year-old from Mexico State was in constant contact with Boubaker El Hakim, a Tunisian who died in 2016 when he was leading ISIS cells in Europe.