US Media Reports on ISIS-Linked Smuggling of Migrants into the Country

More than 400 illegals ended up stateside via this route, and 50 may still be at large, unnamed officials told NBC News

According to NBC News, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified over 400 migrants who entered the country with the assistance of an ISIS-affiliated human smuggling network over the past three years. However, sources have indicated that there is no evidence suggesting these individuals intend to carry out terrorist attacks.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency reported 736 intercepts of individuals on the nation’s terrorist watchlist during the government’s most recent fiscal year, which concluded on September 30. This figure represents a significant increase from 199 in Donald Trump’s final full fiscal year in office. Based on CBP data, this trend has persisted unchanged in the current fiscal year.

In the last fiscal year, US authorities encountered almost 2.5 million undocumented immigrants at the nation’s borders.

In a report released on Wednesday, NBC News cited an anonymous US official who stated that individuals connected to ISIS operate human-trafficking rings in Central Asia. According to the media outlet, 150 of these migrants have been apprehended and deported, and some may have voluntarily left the US. However, the article reports that the whereabouts of approximately 50 remain unknown.

Sources told NBC News that none of the deported individuals were charged with terrorism-related offenses, and US authorities have not identified any malicious intentions among these 400 migrants.

However, the information regarding the potential connection of these individuals to ISIS prompted authorities to “make sure that we exercised our authority in the most expansive and appropriate way to mitigate risk,” according to an unnamed senior Biden administration official quoted by the media outlet.

In an unrelated incident earlier this month, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehended eight Tajik men in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles who were believed to be associated with ISIS.

In June, Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner for the November presidential election, accused President Joe Biden of “providing material support for terrorism” due to his perceived failure to stem the migrant influx at the US-Mexico border.

Several GOP lawmakers have echoed similar criticisms. Billionaire Elon Musk predicted in April that the current lax border control policies could lead to an attack comparable to the September 11, 2001, incident.