Rep. Sue Myrick, a Republican from North Carolina, is worried that Iranian agents are slipping across the U.S.-Mexico border after receiving training in Venezuela. Myrick, the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, says Farsi tattoos are popping up in prisons in the United States, and she sees this as proof of Iranian influence.
Last month she asked the Department of Homeland Security to investigate. But the intelligence community doesn't buy what critics call a confusing conspiracy theory. "We know Iran is trying to increase its presence in Venezuela and has regular flights there. However, the presence we have noted so far is only to increase Iran's cultural influence in that country," says one intelligence official. "We have seen no planning or activity that indicates Iranians are trying to get to the homeland via Latin and Central America to conduct operations." DHS also says there's no "credible evidence" of any terrorist groups operating along the border.