The Department of Homeland Security has revealed that it is using paid undercover informants to gather information on the migrant caravan moving towards the U.S. border — mainly by monitoring caravan members’ text messages sent via WhatsApp Messenger. WhatsApp Messenger is a messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service that allows the sending of text messages and voice calls. The application runs from mobile devices and requires users to provide a standard cellular mobile number.
The caravan members use WhatsApp message groups to coordinate their migration, according to the report. DHS officials have joined these groups to monitor the caravan’s activities and assess potential security threats. This information is consolidated with other information received from paid informants, as well as from what is collected by DHS officials working with the Mexican government.
“While not commenting on sources or methods, it would be malpractice for the United States to be ignorant about the migrants—including many criminals—attempting to enter our country,” DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said in a statement to NBC. “We have an obligation to ensure we know who is crossing our borders to protect against threats to the Homeland and any indication to the contrary is misinformed.”
We reported on November 20 that DHS officials said the previous day that there are at least “500 criminals” among the migrant caravan. That statement did not mention how DHS arrived at this number, but the subsequent report about the department’s use of paid undercover informants within the migrant caravan suggests that they were a likely source of that information.
These revelations about the widespread use of WhatsApp Messenger among the caravan members to coordinate their activity belies the perception presented by the media that that caravan is composed mostly of poverty-stricken refugees who almost spontaneously gathered to form the caravan to travel to the United States. Not only does the formation of WhatsApp message groups require much coordination, but it also requires that a substantial number within the caravan must own smart phones and subscribe to a mobile phone service — costs that should be beyond the reach of refugees living in poverty.
The caravan is obviously an organized operation whose objective is more of an invasion than a migration. An article posted by World Net Daily on October 22 (“Who really launched caravan ‘invasion’ of America?”) expressed the same conclusion.
Photo showing migrants on their way to U.S. border: AP Images