Over the weekend media reports surfaced that Christopher Ashcraft, a U.S. State Department “consular officer” posted to Guadalajara, Mexico had been shot and wounded by Zafar Zia. Zia was described in news reports as a 31-year old American citizen who was born in India.
A Mexican police source told The (UK) Guardian that Ashcraft was shot in his car as he exited a parking garage and that he suspected the shooter was a professional killer. “That’s not an easy shot,” said the unnamed Mexican official. “He was probably aiming for the head but he missed as he (Ashcraft) leaned over to put his ticket in the machine.”
The purported motive for the shooting was a “visa dispute,” but that is at this point speculation. A “visa dispute” is an odd motive, given that an American citizen, even a naturalized one, would not need a visa to return to his own country, nor would he obtain a visa for Mexico at the U.S. consulate.
What is more interesting, and has not been widely reported is that Zafar Zia, although of Indian heritage, is a Muslim. What’s more Zafar is an Arabic Muslim given name meaning “victory” and Zia is a Muslim surname associated with Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Muslim regions of India.
Reports conflict as to whether Zia is a recent convert or was raised a Muslim, however, as our friend Patrick Poole observed, India has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.
According to the Mexican news site mural.com, for the past two months Zia had been living at a farm at 2776 Calle Alcamo in Colonia Prados Providencia, Guadalajara. What he was doing there, why he was there and how he got there remain unclear, although a 2000 Honda Accord bearing California license plates was seized in the raid. (See Revisan casa de atacante de agente consular at mural.com)
At the time of the arrest Mexican authorities found Zia had a .380 Llama pistol (serial number 55242) tucked in his waistband with three rounds still in the magazine. They also found 16 bags of marijuana weighing 336 grams, a wig and glasses.
Mexican authorities interviewed four people at the site where Zia was apprehended and spent over 13-hours in the raid and subsequent investigation. Further, according to mural.com, all the rooms at the farm or finca were rented to “students,” although their school, course of study and nationalities were not disclosed.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting.
Earlier this year our friends at Judicial Watch obtained State Department documents showing that for more than a decade the U.S. government has known that “Arab extremists” are entering the country through Mexico with the assistance of smuggling network “cells.”
According to intelligence obtained by Judicial Watch, a jihadi-cartel alliance in the Mexican state of Nuevo León is collaborating to carry out attacks in American cities and ports of entry along the southern border, according to intelligence obtained from confidential U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sources. As part of the plan, militant Islamists have arrived recently at the Monterrey International Airport situated in Apodaca, Nuevo León, about 130 miles south of the Texas border.
An internal Mexican law enforcement report obtained by Judicial Watch confirms that Islamic terrorists have “people along the border, principally in Tijuana, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.”
Cartel informants tell law enforcement contacts that “they are only waiting for the order and the times to carry out a simultaneous attack in the different ports of entry or cities of the United States of America.” Drug cartels have a working “agreement” with Islamic terrorists, according to a high-ranking Mexican police administrator, who said that men from the Middle East arrive regularly into the country to “train” jihadists.
The relationship between Islamic jihadists and Mexican drug operations is nothing new and Judicial Watch has been reporting it for years as part of an ongoing investigation into cartels, corruption and terrorism.
The partnership has ignited a major security threat for the U.S. with Islamic terrorists training in southern border towns near American cities. This includes an ISIS training camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
Back in 2014 Judicial Watch broke a story about a Mexican-based ISIS operation to attack the U.S. with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). The threat was so imminent that Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, implemented increased security measures even though authorities publicly denied the plot.
There is now a blanket of silence over the arrest of Zafar Zia for the attempted assassination of Christopher Ashcraft. However, in light of Judicial Watch’s well documented information about the growth of the jihadi threat on our southern border, it is time the news media began to ask questions about Zia and his Islamist background, associations and motives.