CBP arrested Middle Eastern terror suspects with names on FBI Terrorist Screening Database
US authorities have arrested four people attempting to illegally cross the Southern Border from Mexico whose names match the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database, a new report revealed.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency confirmed the arrests to Congress on Tuesday, a congressional aide reportedly told Axios.
The names of the terror suspects were not released, but the source said three were from Yemen and the fourth was from Serbia.
The source also said that the four arrests were made since October 2020.
The number is higher than similar suspects taken into custody during recent fiscal years.
The news came a day after Republican House members visited the border in Texas and warned that an unspecified number of migrants crossing the border had names matching those on the terror watch list.
CBP officials reportedly confirmed to Congress that the suspects were named by the FBI as suspected terrorists.
Axios cited an unnamed congressional aide who was purportedly “briefed on the correspondence.”
Fox News then confirmed the report, citing a congressional aide “familiar with CBP information,” noting that the “Serbian national was encountered on Jan. 28, amid an increasing surge in migrant numbers in recent months.”
The outlet pointed out that “House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy [R-Calif.] said on Monday, during a visit to the border, that Border Patrol agents had been warning lawmakers about foreign nationals on the terror watch list getting in,” adding that “McCarthy said migrants were coming from Yemen, China, Sri Lanka, and Iran.”
Fox also reported that “Border Patrol agents arrested 11 Iranian citizens in Arizona last month.”
The Daily Wire reported that Rep. John Katko (R-NY) also warned that terror suspects were “starting to exploit the southern border” under Joe Biden’s loosened policies on border security.
“Individuals that they have on the watch list for terrorism are now starting to exploit the southern border,” Katko — the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee — said during a press conference at the border, according to The Blaze.
“People who they’ve got in the last few days… have been on the terror watchlist.”
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that Democrats dismissed McCarthy’s claims, even calling him a liar.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) tweeted in reaction to the minority leader’s comments, “Weird as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations and a border state member of Congress haven’t heard anything about this.
“Gonna ask for a briefing.
“Pretty sure he is either wrong or lying.”
Weird as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations and a border state member of Congress haven’t heard anything about this. Gonna ask for a briefing. Pretty sure he is either wrong or lying. https://t.co/retrzeUPxV
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) March 15, 2021
The Post wrote:
McCarthy’s claims echo repeated assertions by President Donald Trump and members of his administration that terrorists were using the southern border to sneak into the United States, a line Trump often used to justify his attempts to build a wall and tighten immigration rules.
But those claims withered under scrutiny.
McCarthy shared the Axios story on social media on Tuesday, tweeting:
“The crisis at the border is a national security vulnerability for the U.S. As I said yesterday and Border Patrol confirmed today, they have caught individuals on the Terrorist Watch List attempting to enter our country.
“We must secure our border now.”
The crisis at the border is a national security vulnerability for the U.S.
As I said yesterday and Border Patrol confirmed today, they have caught individuals on the Terrorist Watch List attempting to enter our country.
We must secure our border now. https://t.co/1IbR68FTHL
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 16, 2021