Federal officials are concerned that members of Middle East terrorist groups are infiltrating the United States through the southern border, according to a new report.
The Daily Caller reportedly obtained a memo from the San Diego Field Office Intelligence Division of Customs and Border Protection that was dated Oct. 20.
“San Diego Field Office Intelligence Unit assesses that individuals inspired by, or reacting to the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border,” the memo states.
“Foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the U.S. to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico,” the memo reads.
The CBP memo specifically named three terrorist organizations: Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. All three are designated terrorist organizations by the United States.
Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have vowed to assist Hamas in their war against Israel.
The Daily Caller reached out to the CBP for comment, but didn’t immediately receive a response.
For the month of September, Venezuelans topped the other nationalities for CBP encounters at the border. It was the first time ever that there were more illegal immigrants from Venezuela than from Mexico. There were 54,833 Venezuelans arrested by Border Patrol in September, more than double from 22,090 arrests in August.
According to Customs and Border Protection statistics, 169 people on the FBI terror watch list were encountered during the 2023 fiscal year that ran through September. That’s the most terror watch list encounters ever, and a total that is higher than the last six fiscal years combined, according to Fox News.
The CBP reported a record 3.2 million encounters at the U.S. southern border.
The Department of Homeland Security’s threat assessment was published last month, and it noted there are definite concerns about the surging numbers of people on the FBI’s terror watch list who are crossing the southern border.
“Terrorists and criminal actors may exploit the elevated flow and increasingly complex security environment to enter the United States,” the assessment reads.
“Individuals with terrorism connections are interested in using established travel routes and permissive environments to facilitate access to the United States,” the assessment adds.
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