Q COSTA RICA – Fingerprinting of African migrants daily entering Costa Rica at the Panama border helped detect the arrival to country of a suspected ‘international terrorist’.
The man, a Somali national, identified as Mohamed Ibrahim Qoordheen, 25, was detained Wednesday night after the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (MSP) received an alert from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) international operations office in Panama.
HSI’s International Operations Division is the Department of Homeland Security’s largest investigative presence overseas. that includes operations and activities in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Suspected terrorist was in La Cruz shelter for three days before ICE issued the alert
According to the Minister of Security, Gustavo Mata, the suspected terrorist entered the country on Monday by way of the Paso Canaos border with Panama together with a group of African migrants and was transferred to the Centro de Atención Temporal a Migrantes (Catem) – the temporary attention center for migrants – located in Santa Cecilia, in La Cruz de Guanacaste (near the Nicaragua border).
On that day, immigration officials took fingerprints and cross checked with ICE, which returned the alert some 36 hours later.
“They (ICE) confirmed that this is a person allegedly linked to an international terrorist organizations and requested his immediate arrest to initiate investigations into the case,” said Mata.
The minister said, for the time being, they do not know the details of the foreigner’s link to terrorism or the terrorist group.
Mata explained the some 50 African migrants who enter the country each week use Costa Rica as a ‘transit country’ to their final destination, the United States.
“Costa Rica is not, nor has been a destination for Cubans, Somalis or an Iraqi, their dream is America, they are looking to reach the United States,” said Mata.