Extreme vetting catches three suspected terrorists

ROME (Ordinatio Fabula), December 26, 753 Years Since the Founding – A curious tale has emerged out of Judea province on the eastern coast of Our Sea.

In a small town not far from Jerusalem, Imperial Immigration and Customs Enforcement (IICE) agents apprehended three illegal immigrants who, unlike most illegal immigrants, appeared to be wealthy.

The three reportedly were carrying items of considerable value, including gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They were therefore initially suspected of being not merely illegal immigrants but also of attempting to smuggle these, and possibly other items, into the Empire, to avoid tariffs.

Much more seriously, it seems likely that the three were intending to fund a terrorist plot against the Empire.

Extreme vetting by the IICE soon produced contradictions in the stories of the illegals. For example, they said they had been led to Judea by “a star in the east,” but they admitted to having come from the east (they could hardly have come out of Our Sea!). So, if they had been following a star that was to the east of them, they would have headed to Syria or Persia or some such place, not to Judea.

Even more absurd was their claim that they had come, not to traffic smuggled goods, but to “worship” someone who had just been “born the King of the Jews.” Contacted by our reporter, King Herod said, “I realize that news sometimes travels slowly in the east, but I am 73 years old – in short, not born yesterday.”

King Herod, ruling the Jews under the gracious permission and benevolence of the Emperor Augustus, added that he knew nothing of the three. He said that he was happy to receive gold or other gifts, but givers should of course not assume that his acceptance would grant them favorable treatment in his administration of Imperial justice.

IICE authorities now think it likely that the goods being smuggled by three, once sold, would have been used to fund terrorist attacks in the hope of installing a new “King.”

Asked to point to the star that had “led” them to Judea and the location it was pointing to, the three smugglers said they couldn’t be sure, but it might be Jerusalem or some nearby place. They would have to be allowed to “follow” the star further to be sure, preferably without observers. Of course, our IICE agents didn’t fall for that one!

The three are expected to face court at some time, charged with violating immigration rules. Unless they confess under further questioning in the next few years, there is probably not enough evidence to charge them with terrorism. And they may not be charged with smuggling, because the illegal contraband they were allegedly carrying appears to have been lost.

If convicted on the illegal immigration charge, they could either be deported to wherever they came from or shipped to Rome to provide entertainment in the Coliseum.

As for the new “King of the Jews,” King Herod’s press secretary said, “If someone wants to make a claim for the throne, let them try. We have the Emperor Augustus on our side, and he will not be challenged. Anyone who challenges the authority of the Empire is just looking for trouble.”