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Report: Biden’s DHS Released Suspected Terrorists Encountered at Border

April 4, 2024

Reports surfaced Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released multiple known or suspected terrorists who were encountered at the southern border into the U.S. interior. The news comes amid ongoing reports of undocumented criminals taking advantage of the Biden administration’s porous border policies to commit crimes in the U.S.

That same day, the House Committee on Homeland Security sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking for further information about processing and detainment procedures regarding several known or suspected terrorists that illegally entered America via the southern border.

As noted by Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) and Reps. Clay Higgins (R-La.) and August Pfluger (R-Texas), one case involved a member of the Somalia-based al-Shabaab terrorist organization who was “caught illegally crossing the southern border near San Ysidro, California on March 13, 2023” but was declared to be a “mismatch” and was released into the U.S. Almost a year later, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was able to locate and arrest the individual.

Another case involved a Pakistani man who was caught illegally crossing the border and detained for almost two weeks after his status on the “terror watchlist” was confirmed. However, “ICE eventually released him through the Alternatives to Detention program.”

The congressmen went on to write that “we are now facing a consistent stream of cases highlighted in the news of aliens allegedly on the terrorist watchlist either being apprehended at the border or discovered in the interior.” They highlighted two other cases which occurred in March, one involving an Eritrean man “who was arrested in North Carolina following a four-hour standoff with local law enforcement.” The man, who had been living in the state for six months, was subsequently discovered to be on the terror watchlist.

The letter related yet another case near El Paso, Texas in which a Lebanese man named Basel Bassel Ebbadi was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol. “[W]hen asked what he was doing in the United States, Ebbadi stated he was going to try and make a bomb. Ebbadi further said in a sworn interview that he had trained and served as an active member of [Hezbollah], a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.”

The incidents appear to confirm the concerns that national security experts have voiced related to border security. In March, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray warned of a “wide array” of threats coming from the unsecured border, including a “smuggling network” with ties to the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Maginnis, who serves as Family Research Council’s senior fellow for National Security, also voiced concern over the border earlier this week on “Washington Watch.” “With the open southern border, we’ve had many, many people that have crossed over that don’t have our best interests in mind.” A March report from Chairman Green noted that there have indeed been “1.8 million known gotaways” that have “evaded U.S. Border Patrol under this administration,” with a former Border Patrol official stating that the “total number of gotaways could be undercounted by as much as 20%.”

Reports continue to note that an increasing number of gotaways are committing crimes. As reported by Breitbart on Wednesday, among these is a Honduran who was convicted of rape in Connecticut in 2016. But after serving his sentence and being deported, he again crossed over the southern border undetected under Biden’s border policies in 2021, and spent over a year on the run before being arrested by law enforcement in Virginia.

In a statement after the release of the letter, Green emphasized Mayorkas’s February impeachment due to national security and other concerns related to the Biden administration’s lack of law enforcement at the border.

“Secretary Mayorkas waited three years to admit there even is a border crisis, and during that time, at least 1.8 million illegal aliens evaded apprehension at the border,” he observed. “While we may never know the full extent of the homeland security crisis Secretary Mayorkas has unleashed, the apprehension of an alleged member of Hezbollah at the border just last month gives Americans a terrifying glimpse at the possibilities. This impeached DHS secretary has empowered America’s adversaries through his open-borders agenda, and he must be held accountable.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.