Are we really safe?Two Pakistani men believed to be connected with the Taliban have sneaked into and roamed freely around the country for more than a year. Intelligence authorities only learned of their existence while identifying illegal foreign residents arrested in a recent crackdown.
The two were among 80 key Taliban activists on a Pakistani government surveillance list. The police belatedly arrested the two and are currently confirming their identity with the government of Pakistan.
The possibility of the two men sneaking into our country on a terrorist mission sends chills down the spine.
Both men claimed in police questioning that they were forced to join the Taliban in 2007 but walked out after enduring training for about two weeks.
It is impossible to know if they are telling the truth. They could have been in hiding, waiting for a certain mission order from their leaders.
What we do know is that these men have been associated with the Taliban and landed at Gunsan port illegally on a Pakistani freighter.
They have been working and living near the port and cement factory. They breezed past immigration control and surveillance on illegal residents.
There has been an increase in the number of terrorist and insurgency activities in various parts of the world. Coordinated bomb attacks killed 48 in Iraq last weekend and suicide bomb blasts in a metro station in Moscow on Monday claimed 39 lives.
The Taliban, active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been threatening South Korea since its decision to redeploy troops to Afghanistan after a pullout in 2007, which, though planned, followed a hostage standoff that eventually killed two Korean nationals.
The country hosts the G-20 Summit in November, bringing together leaders of the world’s most influential states. Various terrorist groups could target the event to gain attention.
Recent trends in terrorism suggest that attacks senselessly strike a target without specific purpose.
Last year, there were 43 illegal entry attempts to the country, and 9,045 people were turned away. An armed Pakistani national was arrested while trying to smuggle himself into the country. There is no safe zone on terrorism. Police now say they are reinforcing international cooperation with the United States and France.
But words are not enough. Officials must rummage for any possible holes in immigration surveillance and tighten security.
There is no room for mistakes in security. Prevention is always better than a cure.