Highest number of known, suspected terrorists apprehended at U.S. borders

Illegal immigrants pour over the U.S. southern border in August, 2023.


There were 736 known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) apprehended at the northern and southern borders in fiscal 2023.

The Center Square initially reported 659 were apprehended for the fiscal year, as of Sept. 15, 2023. The fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection published new data this weekend revealing that federal agents apprehended an additional 77 in the last two weeks of September.

The total of 736 is the greatest number of KSTs apprehended in recorded U.S. history.

A significant majority – 66% – were apprehended at the northern border, 487. By comparison, 249 were apprehended at the southwest border.

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. However, the number is believed to be much higher because not all gotaways are known and or reported.

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.

In addition to the majority of KSTs apprehended at the northern border, the majority were also caught attempting to enter through ports of entry.

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.

In fiscal 2023, OFO agents apprehended 484 KSTs at northern border ports of entry and 80 KSTs at southwest border land ports of entry, totaling 564 at ports of entry at both borders.

Border Patrol agents apprehended 169 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.


  1. Terrorism is quite the money maker. Look at what Hamas just pulled off in the Middle East. We’re about to send billions MORE over there where most will get funneled to those who were in charge of the attack on Israel, and I’m not talking about people hiding in caves.

    If domestic KTS’s are able to assemble, plan and carry out clandestine attacks on our soil ALL AT ONCE, we’re in big trouble. Why? Because it’ll usher in new things that’ll make the Patriot Act look like a 3 year old wrote it.

    Oh wha am I saying. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

  2. Will Joey and Mayorkas be sending them to flight school in Florida so they can learn to fly 737’s on our dime.
    The only benefit would be if they managed to make a hole in the swamp and make life uneasy for the creatures who manage to spend the majority of their life there leaching off the working stiffs.
    Then lay them in their coffin and let the elites parade by them pretending they are royalty status who saved us from fiscal ruin and victimization with the catch and release tactics used by Soros funded prosecutors.

  3. Imagine. Throw open the borders for no damn good reason, this is what you get.

    I’ll be very surprised if sometime in the next 4 years we don’t have a massive terror attack on our shores.
    By the very people Biden invited in.

    • Treason comes to mind with this Biden idiot……Importing future democratic voters and sold out this country then gives money to terrorist to buy bombs that will eventually be used on us. That’s treason. What ever happened to America first?
      Some people didn’t like Trump but he sure kept the dogs at bay, this guy let them loose…..

  4. Now citizens have fear in America thanks to the politicians. Remember who’s allowing this to happen. The day will come to fix this mess starting with the dump called Washington.

  5. It’s the hundreds of thousands of cartel members and people who still owe money to the cartels that bother me. The cartels are running many of the prisons and have members in most communities across America.

  6. Makes you wonder how many made it in. I’d say an 8 year old with a Swiss Army knife and a canteen could easily walk right in. This administration brings nothing but shame to our nation, shame to our law enforcement that is ham strung and left helpless to protect us and deadly consequences to our soldiers. If ass face would have been jerked out of office after he got 13 of our nations kids killed we would not be where we are today. Our current trajectory is straight down.

  7. VOTERS … Don’t ever forget(!!!) who helped, and enabled, to put this current Administration in place to make these catastrophic decisions (ie: Daddy’s Little Princess).
    NEVER Forget & NEVER Forgive!!!

  8. Folks want to blame the current administration. It’s all of DC’s fault . Blame them all . How could any politician get re-elected being part of this mess at the southern border ? That’s the bigger question ? What are our Senators from Alaska doing about this ? System is broken , very broken to allow a literal invasion at the southern border . It’s making it unsafe to live in America . Tell us what problem DC has fixed in this country in the last ten years , please ?

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