WASHINGTON, D.C. – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that at least 23 individuals who were on the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) were apprehended by Border Patrol agents while attempting to cross over into the United States via the southern border in 2021.
The encounters took place between January 20 and December 27 in 2021, with four in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, four in Del Rio Sector, three in El Paso Sector, two in Tucson Sector, two in Yuma Sector, four in El Centro Sector and four in San Diego Sector.
The names listed in the TSDB are of individuals or groups that are either known terrorists or are “reasonably suspected” of being connected to terrorism.
Last month, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and John Katko (R-NY) wrote to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last month, calling for the number of confirmed or suspected terrorists caught attempting to cross the southern border to be released to the public.
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“Reporting indicates that multiple individuals with terrorist ties have been recently apprehended after illegally crossing the border, and that such encounters may be increasing,” they said in their letter. “The American people deserve to know whether President Biden’s weak border policies are allowing terrorists to enter our homeland.”
Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott noted that, in 2021, the number of individuals from the TSDB encountered at the border were “at a level we have never seen before. We have terrorist threats we can’t get into in this type of a forum but they are real.”
Reports indicate that the migrant crisis at the U.S. border continues to break records; in March, Border Patrol agents apprehended over 212,000 attempting to illegally cross over into the country – higher than any month in 2021 – with an additional 62,000 managing to evade capture.