More than a dozen suspected terrorists or people with close ties to Islamic militant groups have been arrested after trying to enter the country through the southwest border, according to an analysis of public records released Tuesday.
Since 2001, there have been at least 15 confirmed cases in which members of terrorist groups, including the Islamic State and al-Shabaab, were encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border or shortly after crossing illegally, says the report from the Center for Immigration Studies.
The individuals were among the thousands of so-called “special interest aliens” — people from countries beset by terrorism — that are apprehended at the southern border on an annual basis.
“While President Trump may have raised the prospect of terrorist border infiltration to gain political advantage, facts would support his contention that Middle Easterners from places like Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, as well as from South Asia and the Horn of Africa, do indeed routinely travel the same routes as Hondurans to the U.S. southern border and that some terrorist suspects have traveled among them,” the report’s author, CIS fellow Todd Bensman, concluded. read more