Number of terror watch list fugitives caught at border explodes 400%, may already be in America plotting major attack

The number of terror watch list fugitives being apprehended at the southern border indicates the situation is a ticking time bomb and experts are warning that an attack by extremists may be in the works.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

The number on the list coming across the open border has exploded under President Biden’s watch. It’s gone up by a staggering 400 percent from last year. US Customs and Border Protection reported that 78 immigrants on the US terror watch list have been taken into custody crossing the border in the last year. By comparison, there were 15 in 2021.

In 2020, there were three, zero in 2019, six in 2018, and 2 in 2017.

Twelve were caught in August alone, the second highest monthly total since numbers began to be released earlier this year.

“So far this year, 78 people whose names appear on the Terrorist Screening Dataset were stopped trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry this fiscal year. The Biden admin is playing games with our national security & it must STOP NOW,” House Homeland Security Republicans posted on Twitter Tuesday.

Todd Bensman, an expert on terrorism with the Center for Immigration Studies who has written extensively on the national security threat at the southern border, is blaming the Biden administration’s border policies for the surge in violent extremists attempting to sneak over the border into the US. He contends that some of them have surely succeeded and are already here plotting an attack. Bensman points out that two terrorist suspects were mistakenly released into the country earlier this year.

In January, Lebanese-born Venezuelan migrant Issam Bazzi was released into the US despite being on the FBI’s terror watchlist. He is connected to foreign terror organizations. Somehow, he slipped through the cracks and escaped into the United States. He is living, undeterred, with family in Dearborn, Michigan, according to Deadline Detroit reporter Charlie LeDuff.

Then there is Shihab Ahmed Shihab, 52, of Iraq. He was charged with aiding and abetting a plot to murder former President George W. Bush. According to the Department of Justice, he slipped into the US in 2020 and was seeking asylum the following year. His plan to kill Bush involved smuggling other extremists across the border.

Shihab allegedly organized eight terrorists to fly to Brazil and then travel to the US-Mexico Border, sneaking across using Border Patrol uniforms to reach Bush’s home in Dallas, Texas.

The alleged ISIS member reportedly claimed he wanted to kill the former president because of his role in launching the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear that the person behind the next big shooting or that the person who drove into a crowd is one of the people on this watch list,” Bensman told the Daily Mail in an interview.

Bensman bluntly posits that when Biden decided to end the Trump-era border policy that forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico until their cases were resolved, he gave a green light to terrorists around the world and indicated we were a soft target.

“These individuals are looking at the chaos in our borders and flying over from around the world, throwing their IDs into the dirt and trying to come in under a made-up name seeking asylum,” he warned.

Under the president’s open-border policies, asylum-seeking migrants are released into the US, and very little, if anything, is known about them. Normally, these types of extremists would be caught at the border when their fingerprints and biometrics are scanned, alerting Border Patrol as to the real identity of the migrant. But that is reportedly not being done anymore due to the massive number of immigrants crossing the border.

Over two million illegal immigrants have been arrested along the US-Mexico border this past year according to the latest report from Customs and Border Patrol. During the spring of 2022, arrests soared past 200,000.

Bensman is pointing to the fact that terrorist groups like ISIS, the Taliban, and al Qaeda have been watching what is taking place at the border and see it as a golden opportunity to send terrorists into the US.

“The programs we’ve had for years to catch these individuals have been derailed,” he remarked. “The risk right now is elevated far beyond anything we’ve ever seen.”

Bensman is flatly stating these incidents will only get worse and more frequent unless Biden reimplements the “wait in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers.

“We can’t let them in,” he admonished. “The program has to stop now. It’s that simple. We haven’t had any attack so far thanks to the diligence of our agents at the border, but that’s collapsing.”

“Who’s in the gaggle of 700,000-plus Southwest border got-aways, which is larger than the population of Boston? No idea,” Andrew Arthur, who is a former immigration judge and legal fellow at the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, wrote in a June blog post. “We won’t know who the worst ones are until they act. But the worst ones are plainly coming.”

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