Where’s the media? Two Yemeni men on the FBI’s terror watch list arrested trying to cross border into America

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EL CENTRO, CA- Hey, it’s just kids crossing the border everyone. Nothing to see here. Apparently not so much. According to the Daily Mail, two Yemeni nationals were arrested in California and spent the last three months in Calexico, California.

Not a big deal, right?

Well in this case it is because both were on the FBI’s terrorist watch list.

 

The two men aged 33 and 26 were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents assigned to the El Centro, California station. The 26-year-old was apprehended on the night of March 30, according to Border Report.

Earlier this year on January 29, border agents arrested the 33-year-old in the same area.

According to CBP in a statement, the two banditos were on the U.S. government watch list for terrorism suspects and also appeared on the “no-fly” list.

“Part of the Border Patrol’s mission states we will protect the country from terrorists,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino.

“Today, like every other day, our agents did that. These apprehensions at the border illustrates the importance of our mission and how we can never stop being vigilant in our everyday mission to protect this great country.”

The apprehension of the terror suspects will no doubt fuel further criticism from Congressional Republicans, who have been slamming the Biden administration’s open border policies which have led to a surge of illegals crossing into the United States.

Republicans have also previously warned that terrorists could be secreting themselves among those illegals entering the country and attempting to avoid detection.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the identities of the two terror suspects was not released, and their pictures had their faces redacted out. Officials said they had found a cellphone SIM card hidden underneath the insole of the 33-year-old suspect.

The Mail reported that in January 2018, a joint report was issued by Homeland Security and the Department of Justice which said that DHS had 2,554 “encounters” worldwide with people on the watch list who were trying to travel into the United States.

Of that number, 2,170 were trying to enter by air, 335 by land and the rest by sea.

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In 2019, former President Donald Trump said during a Rose Garden speech that, “We have terrorists coming through the southern border because they find that’s probably the easiest place to come through. They drive right in and they make a left.”

The Mail noted that illegals have been pouring into the country at higher numbers since Biden was sworn in, taking advantage of his administration’s hands off approach to immigration.

In March alone, over 170,000 people entered the US over the southern border, giving that month the highest single-month total in over ten years.

The border patrol has said they are currently detaining around 5,000 people a day. Unaccompanied minors, meanwhile, are allowed to remain in the country, which has forced the administration to open a tenth temporary housing facility to attempt to ease overcrowded conditions at the facilities.

According to Todd Bensman, an analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that favors a harder stance on immigration and stronger defenses against possible terrorist infiltration had estimated in 2019 that around 20 terrorist suspects are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border every year.

While the federal government doesn’t disclose how many people are on the no-fly list, in 2016 Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said there were around 81,000 people on the list, less than 1,000 of whom are American citizens.

In March, a group of Republicans visited the border in El Paso, Texas, and reported that border agents told them that some people caught crossing the border were on the U.S. terror watchlist.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who traveled to the border on March 15 said after meeting with Border Patrol agents that he had been told people with links to terrorist organizations were among those rushing the border.

“It’s not just people from Mexico or Honduras or El Salvador,” he said.

“They’re now finding people from Yemen, Iran, Turkey. People on the terrorist watch list they are catching and they’re rushing in all at once.”

Republicans have slammed the Biden administration for eliminating virtually all of the restrictions put in place by the Trump administration which has opened the floodgates at the border.

The terrorists watch list is maintained by the FBI Terrorism Screening Center, run by the same agency that missed signs of possible trouble at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, which doesn’t lend itself to a lot of confidence in that agency’s ability to stop a terrorist from entering the country.

The list contains the names of people suspected or known to having been involved in terrorist activities, the FBI said.

A U.S. official told Reuters that overall, few of those caught trying to cross the border match people on the terror watch list.

According to the libertarian CATO Institute, from 1975 through 2017, seven people who entered the country illegally from so-called “special interest countries—those states tied at least loosely to terrorism—were convicted of planning attacks on U.S. soil.

Of those, none crossed from Mexico. They either came from Canada or jumped ship in U.S. ports, and all did so prior to special interest countries being classified as such.

All of the plots were foiled, and nobody was injured. The CATO Institute also said the only known terrorists who crossed the US border from Mexico during that time frame were three ethnic Albanians from Macedonia who entered the country as children with their parents in 1984.

When they were in their 20’s, they were arrested in a foiled plan to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey, a U.S. Army base in 2007, CATO said. Macedonia was not considered a special interest country.

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