YUMA, AZ – A suspected Saudi Arabian terrorist was caught and arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents as he attempted to cross the U.S. southern border from Mexico late last week.
The suspected terrorist – a 21 year-old man whose name has not yet been disclosed – was apprehended in Yuma, Arizona on December 16 while wearing a Central Oneida County, New York Volunteer Ambulance Corps jacket, Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem announced on Twitter.
“#USBP #YumaSector agents apprehended a potential terrorist who illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico Thursday night,” Clem said. “The 21-year-old migrant from Saudi Arabia is linked to several Yemeni subjects of interest.”
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Whenever a person suspected of terrorist activity is apprehended crossing the U.S. border by any means – be it on land, sea, or air – they are immediately turned over to federal law enforcement agents to be thoroughly investigated, according to National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.
“When we apprehend somebody from a special-interest country, in all cases we immediately notify [Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations] and [Federal Bureau of Investigation],” he said. “HSI and FBI then determine what is done with that individual. We have no contact with that individual unless the FBI and HSI determine they are not going to take him. If they don’t take him, then we’ll process them as normal.”
Former national Border Patrol chief, Rodney Scott, confirmed before leaving his position in August that Border Patrol agents were encountering and apprehending suspected terrorist migrants crossing the U.S. southern border at a “level never seen before.”
The historic level of migrant crossings at the southern border – U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that 127,653 were caught illegally entering the country in November 2021 alone – had necessitated Border Patrol removing over 40 percent of their agents from securing the border in order to transport, process, and care for migrants who were being detained.
This is having the unfortunate effect of making the border itself even less secure, authorities say; with Border Patrol agents now spread so thin, smugglers will often take advantage by staging diversions and running contraband or people through the resultant security gaps that appear.