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At least 23 people in U.S. terrorist database caught at border in 2021

The information was accessed by Fox News after the outlet submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in December

Border Patrol Agents
Border Patrol Agents | Vic Hinterlang

April 18, 2022 3:04pm

Updated: April 18, 2022 4:37pm

In 2021, Border Patrol agents intercepted at least 23 migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border that were in the U.S. terrorist database, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data analyzed by Fox News.

The encounters with the individuals on the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) took place between January 20 and December 27, 2021. The information was accessed by Fox News after the outlet submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in December.

“Four were in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, 4 in Del Rio Sector, 3 in El Paso Sector, 2 in Tucson Sector, 2 in Yuma Sector, 4 in El Centro Sector and 4 in San Diego Sector,” reported Fox News.

The TSDB lists all individuals who are “known or reasonably suspected” of being involved in terrorist activities by the U.S. government.

Republican lawmakers are worried that the number of encounters with individuals in the TSDB is increasing. Before retiring last year, the head of Border Patrol, Rodney Scott, said that border agents are encountering TSBD individuals “at a level we have never seen before.”

As a result, in late March, Representatives James Comer and John Katko, members of the House Oversight and Homeland Security committees, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting details of such apprehensions.

"Reporting indicates that multiple individuals with terrorist ties have been recently apprehended after illegally crossing the border, and that such encounters may be increasing," wrote the representatives. “The American people deserve to know whether President Biden’s weak border policies are allowing terrorists to enter our homeland."

Comer and Katko have asked for the figures of TSDB-linked migrants that have crossed the border starting from Fiscal Year 2016 until today.