ISIS Entering Through the Southern Border

Statea USA via Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told the Senate in April 2024, “We have Hamas, and we have Hezbollah, and we have all these terror groups encouraging and supporting violent mobs calling for intifada inside America.

We already have people here on student visas calling for death to America. And ISIS controls a migrant smuggling ring that they can use to bring people into the United States to conduct attacks.”

Senator Rubio’s words became even more alarming when it was recently discovered that individuals with suspected ties to ISIS have been apprehended at the U.S. southern border. Eight people from Tajikistan, suspected of ISIS affiliations, were arrested in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles after crossing the border illegally. In a separate incident, a Hezbollah member was apprehended at the border. When authorities asked why he was entering the U.S., he said he intended to make a bomb.

The arrest of the eight Tajiks was carried out by ICE and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Initial vetting did not detect their terrorist connections, which were uncovered only after their release into the U.S.

This has raised significant concerns about the efficiency of current vetting processes and the potential national security threats posed by such lapses. Authorities have reported a rising number of people on the terrorist watch list being apprehended at the southern border. The administration may claim that the system is working because these people are being screened.

However, if the number of terrorists being caught is increasing, then the number among the millions of illegal immigrants may also be rising. This raises the question of why the border has not been locked down and all illegal immigration halted.

Recent reports highlight a significant national security concern involving the entry of dangerous individuals through the U.S.-Mexico border. Following the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, U.S. intelligence leaders have warned of heightened risks due to the porous nature of the southern border.

Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis comprise Iran’s “Axis of Resistance,” targeting both the U.S. and Israel. ISIS, a separate terrorist organization, aims to establish a medieval caliphate across the Middle East and eventually the entire world.

All these organizations have been designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). Along with Mexican drug cartels and Chinese and Russian agents, they are exploiting the southern border to enter the U.S. and conduct their nefarious activities.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, expressing alarm over the situation. He noted that the surge in illegal border crossings poses a severe threat, with increasingly frequent reports of individuals connected to terrorist organizations like ISIS entering the country.

ISIS has been operating a human trafficking ring, smuggling migrants into the U.S. This is troubling for two reasons. First, groups like ISIS use a wide array of businesses, both illicit and licit, to earn money for their operations.

The more money ISIS has, the more weapons they can buy and the more fighters they can recruit. Second, FBI Director Wray confirmed that they are funneling criminals through the U.S. border. Now, there is proof that they are also releasing terrorists into the country.

This group brought at least 400 migrants into the US, who were processed by Customs and Border Protection. ICE has since tried to arrest them all, but 50 have not yet been located. Of those who were apprehended, only some have been deported.

These and other migrants linked to terrorism can easily become a fifth column, an army of sleeper agents inside the US who could be activated when the time is right. The pro-Hamas protests across the United States are being energized by people from Arab nations living in the US.

They burn the US flag, call for death to America and the Jews, and encourage American young people to do the same. Given recent attacks by ISIS-linked groups in France, Russia, Somalia, Mozambique, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan, it is clear that ISIS is on the rise again and poses a severe threat to national security.

What is particularly troubling is that US authorities have known about these ISIS-linked smuggling rings since last year, yet the Biden Administration has done nothing to stop them. According to Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, “There’s literally no one President Biden won’t turn away — including illegal aliens from problematic countries smuggled in by networks connected to ISIS.”

Senator Rubio stated that the recent arrests of terrorists linked to ISIS-K “are disturbing enough, but they are just a drop in the bucket compared to the threat posed by terrorists who have entered the United States and remain undetected.” Under current law, people are only deported or refused entry if they appear on the terrorist watch list; otherwise, the authorities let them in. One way to address this obvious flaw in the system would be to not allow any illegal aliens into the country.

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Dr. Antonio Graceffo, PhD, China MBA, is an economist and national security analyst with a focus on China and Russia. He is a graduate of American Military University.

You can email Antonio Graceffo here, and read more of Antonio Graceffo's articles here.


Thanks for sharing!