Border Patrol agents apprehended 50 illegal aliens on the terror watchlist between October and December, according to federal data updated Friday.
The total number of migrant crossings at the southern border between October and December surpassed 785,000, more than 629,000 of them being illegal entries, according to the data.
Federal authorities warned Border Patrol after the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel to keep watch for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah terrorists possibly crossing into the U.S. via the southern border, according to an internal memo.
“Encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are very uncommon, underscoring the critical work CBP Agents and Officers carry out every day on the frontlines. DHS works tirelessly to secure our borders through a combination of highly trained personnel, ground and aerial monitoring systems, and robust intelligence and information sharing networks,” CBP says of its encounters with individuals on the terror watchlist.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed an Iranian national with ties to terrorism after he tried to enter the U.S. twice via the northern border, the agency said in December.
“SDS watchlisted individuals encountered by the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) after entering the country without inspection may be detained and removed, to the extent possible under CBP policy, or turned over to another government agency for subsequent detention or law enforcement action, as appropriate,” CBP adds.