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ICYMI in the New York Post: ‘House Committee Demands Answer on Eight Tajik Border Crossers Arrested for Terror Plot’

June 18, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) led Homeland Republicans in sending a letter to now-impeached Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, demanding documents and a briefing pertaining to several individuals with connections to ISIS that were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia this month. All of these individuals reportedly entered the United States through the Southwest border, but Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) limited ability to fully vet and screen those crossing led to all of them being released into the United States. Reportedly, at least one even made use of the unlawful CBP One mass-parole program. 
Cosigners of the letter include Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC), Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX), and Subcommittee on Border Security and Enforcement Chairman Clay Higgins (R-LA).

Read the full letter here. Read more in the New York Post via Todd Bensman.


House committee demands answer on eight Tajik border crossers arrested for terror plot
New York Post
Todd Bensman
June 17, 2024

House Republicans are demanding answers after an FBI counterterrorism sting in three major US cities reportedly rolled up eight Tajik nationals who’d crossed the US Southwest Border and were planning a terrorist bombing. 

In a new letter, House Homeland Security Committee Mark Green and several subcommittee leaders are demanding that Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of Homeland Security, disclose whether border agencies could have known of terrorism connections when the Tajik Eight first crossed, and how those agencies handled the immigrants after their releases through to the moment the FBI alerted them about plot. 

At least some of the Tajik Eight crossed more than a year prior to their early June 2024 arrests by ICE. And the undercover FBI sting operation was underway for quite some time, according to media reporting.

Their letter points to an NBC news report that ICE in the first week of June arrested the Tajik Eight on immigration-related charges only “after the FBI alerted them that the men possessed a connection to the terrorist group ISIS.” 

The lawmakers are investigating whether overwhelmed border agency personnel are able to properly screen terrorists and other criminals.

The committee cites my report listing seven accidental terror suspect releases – each a counterterrorism intelligence failure – and its call for forceful congressional intervention and concerted government investigation.

“Unfortunately, the unacceptable security failures that have allowed individuals with terrorist ties to enter the United States through the Southwest Border have become an alarming pattern under the administration,” the letter states.

The committee, which holds special oversight responsibility for all homeland security-related government activity, wants the immigration files on all eight suspects, communications between the FBI and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would reveal how the eight arrested immigrants were handled after their border crossings, and all derogatory information in the terrorist watch list database about them.
They want a briefing by June 27 and the documents and records later.
But if history is any indication, Mayorkas is likely to ignore this reasonable public interest request.
Mayorkas has already blown off an April 3, 2024 committee information request about two of the DHS accidental releases of border-crossing suspected terrorists on the FBI watch list “due to errors within ICE’s internal database.” 
An especially egregious security failure happened with the accidental border release of Afghan national Mohammad Kharwin, who was already on the FBI’s terrorism watch list for his associations with the US-designated terrorist organization Hezb-e-Islami. 
Border Patrol released him into ICE custody into the so-called “Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program on March 12, 2023 after his illegal crossing from Mexico into California. He remained free for nearly a year until his arrest in San Antonio.
“The Department’s prioritization of catch, process, and release, presents a grave danger to national security,” the letter said. “The Committee has repeatedly and forcefully highlighted the security vulnerabilities inherent in the massive influx of illegal aliens at our border. The Biden Administration and the Department, however, continue to hide their heads in the sand, ignoring the ‘blinking red lights’ everywhere.”