Did a Jordanian Border-Crosser Just Attempt a Terror Attack on a Marine Corps Base Near D.C.?

Cone of silence falls over local media report of a breaching attempt at Quantico

By Todd Bensman on May 14, 2024

The Potomac Local News, founded in 2010 “to help people understand what is happening in their local communities in Northern Virginia”, practices what it calls local “conservative journalistic standards” and almost prides itself on a fact of life about today’s politically bifurcated media landscape. As the online outlet explains on its “About” page”

Often overlooked by the Washington, D.C. legacy media, we’ve remained true to our community by providing local, can’t-get-it anywhere-else coverage of local government, business, and charitable organizations.

But on May 3, the little online newspaper’s Kelly Sienkowski broke a major national story with serious policy and electoral implications, but which has been overlooked by the legacy media. At issue in Sienkowski’s story is whether the United States just experienced its first attempted terror attack by a border-crossing illegal alien from the Middle East.

In the early morning of May 3, two men in a box truck pulled up to the front gate of Quantico Marine Corps Base 35 miles southwest of Washington and tried to lie their way in claiming they were Amazon delivery men. After skeptical military police channeled them to an area for secondary security inspection, the driver hit the gas in defiance of orders to halt and tried to barrel the truck into the base’s town center. Quick-thinking MPs put up road barriers that stopped the truck. 

The Marines ended up citing the two for trespassing on federal property.

Sienkowski’s Potomac Local News story, quoting a prepared email statement from base spokesman Capt. Michael Curtis (shared with me) confirmed the incident’s basic contours but no more. It would have remained merely a curious local incident had she not kept pressing. 

Sienkowski cited “multiple anonymous sources” to report more details that ramp up this incident to a national story with potential implications for President Joe Biden’s highly controversial U.S. border policies and even the outcome of this November’s presidential election – an election which is frequently said to hinge on widespread voter concerns about a prolonged mass migration crisis that has allowed into the country hundreds on the FBI’s terrorism watch list, among millions of other foreign nationals from all over the world.

Sienkowski’s sources told her that one of the two individuals in the truck was a Jordanian foreign national who “recently crossed the southern border into the U.S.” and also that one of them is on the U.S. terrorist watch list. Her sources didn’t say which was on the watch list. But clearly both were foreign nationals in the country on questionable legal status grounds because, after citing the two men for trespassing, the Marine Corps turned them over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the sources told Sienkowski.

Questions Gone Unanswered. The big question in the room that has gone unanswered for more than a week after Sienkowski reported the story is, of course, this one: Did illegal border-crossers from the Middle East just try to attack a U.S. military base?

Many more questions deserve answers too. 

Have U.S. investigators ruled out a terrorism motive? Do U.S. counterterrorism agencies even want to know, and is anyone even investigating that question?

Were there any weapons in the truck or on the illegal immigrants it carried? Was the truck itself the weapon? That wouldn’t be unusual. And where’d they get it?

Did the men say anything illuminating during their time in custody about why and how they obviously planned acquisition of a box truck and plotted out a strategy to lie their way into a military base in it?

When and how exactly did the men enter the United States? Was the Jordanian a Palestinian Arab from Gaza and angry about U.S. support for Israel’s retaliatory war? Many Palestinians hold Jordanian passports.

Did an overwhelmed Border Patrol accidentally release the one who was on the FBI’s terrorist watch list as part of what I have reported as a new national security threat phenomenon of accidental releases? 

Border Patrol has encountered at least 340 immigrants on the terrorism watch list since the mass migration began three years ago. In at least eight instances, the overwhelmed Border Patrol has accidentally released watch-listed illegal border-crossers and DHS had to frantically hunt them down afterwards. 

What has ICE done with this pair since the MPs turned them over? 

I emailed Sienkowski to query her about what she’s learned in the week since her story published. Not much. No one will tell her anything more, and none of the larger media outlets has joined her lonely quest.

A local mom living in northern Virginia who has no formal journalism training, Sienkowski took a few minutes to chat with me on Mother’s Day. She said she pursued the story after seeing a comment on social media, published what she could find out, and has fought a very lonely battle for more answers.

“What really blows my mind is that no other media has followed up on the story after a whole week has passed,” Sienkowski told me. “We need more transparency in how our border problems are impacting national security through localized incidents like this one.”

Sienkowski isn’t really surprised. She knows she is a journalistic small fry seeking sensitive answers from a monolithic federal bureaucracy that would only see benefit in saying nothing until her blip of an obscure local story blows over. 

There is, after all, electoral peril in any admission that President Biden’s controversial border policies just produced an attempted illegal-immigrant terror attack on a military base just outside Washington, D.C.

No one will tell Sienkowski anything, certainly not the Marine Corps nor ICE.

“We have reached out to almost every elected official, and many running for office,” Sienkowski said. She named names: Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-Va., 7th District), Virginia Republican candidate for congress Derrick Anderson, Republican candidate for congress Cameron Hamilton, Coles District Supervisor Yesli Vega, “and many more local candidates and supervisors.”

“I’ll keep you posted on any updates and responses,” Sienkowski assured me.

In a region saturated by major media outlets anchored by the likes of The Washington Post, only a stay-at-home mom who freelances part-time as a local reporter seems remotely curious that a couple of illegal border-crossers, one of them from Jordan, just tried to lie their way onto a U.S. Marine Corps facility and, when caught, tried to forcibly breach it for some purpose that cannot possibly have been benign. 

Taking all this into account, I can promise one thing: Sienkowski is no longer alone in her quest for answers.

(An abridged version of this article was published by New York Post on May 13.)