FBI Searching for Over a Dozen ISIS-Linked Migrants


People climb a section of border fence to look toward supporters in the U.S. as members of a caravan of Central American asylum seekers arrive to a rally on April 29, 2018 in Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico.
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly on a manhunt for over a dozen Uzbek nationals who entered the United States earlier this year seeking asylum. These individuals allegedly traveled to the southern border with the help of a human smuggler linked to ISIS, sparking concerns within national security circles.

The FBI, along with other national security agencies, is working to identify and assess all the individuals who gained entry into the country, despite the fact that no specific ISIS plot has been identified. Adrienne Watson, National Security Council spokesman, emphasized that there is no current indication that any of these individuals have connections to a foreign terrorist organization or are plotting a terrorist attack in the United States.

As part of the procedure, all asylum seekers at the Mexico border are screened by Homeland Security. During this process, biometric data like fingerprints and facial scans are collected and checked against law enforcement databases. Migrants from Central Asia may undergo additional screenings due to the logistical challenges and costs associated with such a long journey.

Despite these precautions, none of the asylum seekers raised any red flags during the screening process. They were subsequently released into the U.S. pending court appearances. The backlog in U.S. immigration courts, which currently stands at 2.5 million cases, means it could take over a decade for these migrants to get a hearing, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

The discovery of the smuggling network’s ties to ISIS only came after the migrants had already entered the country. The FBI, in collaboration with Turkish authorities, apprehended the smuggler and other members of the network. This led to a nationwide search for the migrants, some of whom are still under scrutiny as potential criminal threats.

Homeland Security officials maintain that they work closely with the FBI and other partners to prevent anyone known to pose a threat from entering the country.

The smuggler, although linked to ISIS, is not believed to be a member of the terrorist organization. Instead, he is thought to be an independent contractor with personal sympathies for the group.

The news of an ISIS-linked network aiding migrants has caused alarm in Washington, especially given the current political focus on border control. The situation has triggered numerous meetings among top national security and Biden administration officials.


Trending stories, leading insights, & top analysis delivered directly to your inbox.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive email messages from The Liz Wheeler Show to the email address you provide. You may unsubscribe at any time.


Related Stories


Scroll to Top