Border bad guys: Known terrorists crossing at record pace

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By BETHANY BLANKLEY | THE CENTER SQUARE

More known or suspected terrorists have been apprehended at the northern and southwest borders in fiscal 2023 than any other fiscal year in recorded history.

In fiscal 2023, 659 known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) were apprehended attempting to illegally enter the U.S. – with the majority being apprehended at the northern border, according to CBP data last updated Sept. 15. The fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

In fiscal 2023, 432 KSTs were apprehended at the northern border compared to 227 at the southwest border, totaling 659, the greatest number in recorded history.

These numbers don’t include gotaways, which are believed to also include KSTs. “Gotaways” is the official U.S. Customs and Border Patrol term that refers to those who illegally enter the U.S. between ports of entry, don’t return to Mexico or Canada, and are not apprehended. They total at least nearly 1.7 million since January 2021.

With people illegally entering the U.S. from over 170 countries, former ICE Chief Tom Homan told The Center Square some of these countries they are coming from are sponsors of terrorism.

“If you don’t think a single one of the 1.7 million [gotaways] is coming from a country that sponsors terrorism, then you’re ignoring the data,” he said. “That’s what makes this a huge national security issue.”

KSTs are primarily apprehended two different ways by two different federal agents. Office of Field Operations (OFO) agents, who work at land ports of entry, are tasked with stopping “inadmissables,” or illegal foreign nationals, KSTs and a range of other people or contraband prior to entering the U.S.

Border Patrol agents work between ports of entry, patrolling the border to apprehend foreign nationals who’ve already illegally entered the U.S.

OFO agents working at northern ports of entry have apprehended more than those at southwest ports of entry in four out of the last seven fiscal years. OFO agents have also historically apprehended more KSTs at ports of entry than Border Patrol agents between ports of entry due to varying factors.

In fiscal 2023, OFO agents apprehended 429 KSTs at northern border ports of entry and 76 KSTs at southwest border land ports of entry, totaling 505 at ports of entry at both borders.

Border Patrol agents apprehended 151 KSTs between ports of entry along the southwest border and three between ports of entry along the northern border, totaling 154.

The Terrorist Screening Dataset is the federal database that contains sensitive information on terrorist identities, CBP said. It originated as a consolidated terrorist watchlist “to house information on known or suspected terrorists but evolved over the last decade to include additional individuals who represent a potential threat to the United States, including known affiliates of watchlisted individuals.”

By comparison, OFO and Border Patrol agents combined apprehended a total of 478 KSTs in fiscal 2022, 173 in fiscal 2021, 199 in fiscal 2020, 541 in fiscal 2019, 357 in fiscal 2018, and 353 in fiscal 2017.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Good thing Sulte wants the assembly to have more “big sticks”. How comforting and US Constitutional.

    • after seeing what their fascist government did to their own citizens during the trucker and then celebrating the Waffen SS Nazi’s a couple weeks ago you might be on to something.

    • Yes, but not to worry — at the rate they are devolving into pure East German-style tyranny, I fully expect The Democratic People’s Republic of Canada to start building a wall on their border any day now, complete with minefields and armed surveillance towers. Not for the purpose that you are implying, however. But I’m sure that diehard statists and pro-authority quislings such as yourself will applaud it nonetheless.

  2. Well the day of reckoning is coming fast. Find out who’s your conservative friends and prepare for what’s coming.

  3. And sleepy Joe is on a beach somewhere with a “lid” on, dreaming away in his mush-for-brains state. We are in clear and present danger from invasion, and they are allowing it! Instead they harp on global climate change which thousands of scientists have stated is NOT occurring. This is the true insurrection.

  4. Joe Biden doesn’t give a sh*t about how bad he effs up our country. He won’t be around long enough to see the damage. He could care less.

  5. Over 50 MILLION illegals in the USA already. Bound to be a few Suicide Vests and Car Bombing incidents down the road…

  6. There may be 659 KSTs plus more who came across as “gotaways” but what about the hundreds, if not thousands of cartel members who have come across and have disseminated throughout the country to keep tabs on the illegals they let cross on the time payment plan plus the horrible situation of illegal teenage girls now being forced into sex trafficking to work off their cartel debt? It’s hard to believe a sophisticated, morally sound country would allow this. The only answer is that a small group of US citizens, politicians, are getting paid very well by the cartels to facilitate this mess.

  7. One thing leftist Democrat voters don’t realize about Terrorists. They don’t discriminate who they attack. Your political party allegiance don’t matter. If you’re an American to them, you’re shot, tortured, raped, or kidnapped or dismembered after death.

    I think Leftists are simple minded which accounts for why CMAN, whidbey, Frank, Greg, Patriot, Third generation are silent on articles that threaten and affect us all.
    Oh well! Easy come, easy go.

  8. Our Washington representatives are to blame as well. Don’t let them forget that protecting our nation is their highest priority.

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