U.S. Army Soldiers with the 289th Composite Supply Company, prep food and water for transport to Camp Donna at Weslaco, Texas, Nov. 23, 2018. Soldiers will provide a range of support including planning assistance, engineering support, equipment and resources to assist the Department of Homeland Security along the southwest border. (U.S. Air Force/SrA Alexandra Minor0
The Pentagon is sending about 320 more troops to the southwestern border, and although they will interact with migrants, they will not arrest or detain anyone, a Defense Department spokesman said on Monday.
Soldiers of the 595th Sapper Company walk along a section of the border fence they have been attaching concertina wire to near Campo, Calif., March 7, 2018. (U.S. Army/Capt. Edwin Martinez)
When federal law enforcement officials last year began collecting dossiers on mostly American journalists, activists and lawyers in Tijuana involved with the migrant caravan, one part of their investigation focused on an alleged plot by a drug cartel to sell guns to protesters, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report.
A Dec. 18, 2018, document from the FBI, obtained by the Union-Tribune, specifies an alleged plan for activists to purchase guns from a "Mexico-based cartel associate known as Cobra Commander," or Ivan Riebeling.
The protesters wanted to "stage an armed rebellion at the border," the FBI reported to dozens of federal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Mexico.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that the Pentagon is "now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border," an escalation on his declaration in early April that he's "going to have to call up more military" to defend U.S.-Mexico border.
But when the commander-in-chief imagined a fresh round of troop deployment to the southwest border, he probably didn't mean military cooks, lawyers, and drivers.
Soldiers deploy concertina wire in a location along the Southwest border of the United States near Hidalgo, Texas. U.S. Army North is deployed to the southwest border under the authority of U.S. Northern Command to support the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection's mission to secure the border. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)
Mexican troops confronted two American soldiers in a remote part of Texas who they thought had crossed into Mexican territory, reportedly disarming one of them, U.S. officials said.