The San Diego Field Office Intelligence Division of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has warned in a memo that members of terrorist groups — namely Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) — could be encountered at the porous southern border. The warning comes weeks after the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas attacked Israel, murdering 1,400 individuals and taking many more hostage on October 7.
The Daily Caller News Foundation first obtained and shared the October 20 memo, which warned that “individuals inspired by, or reacting to, the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt to travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border.”
Hamas and Hezbollah could be crossing the southern border https://t.co/7BRkO56gGN
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 23, 2023
“Foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the US to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico,” the memo reads.
The memo then provided patches of the three terrorist organizations — Hamas, Hezbollah, and PIJ — while listing off possible indicators. Those include military age males, military gear, insignias, associations to Israel, the Palestinian territories or “regional affiliations,” as well as an “undetermined return plan.”
NEW: Per CBP sources, CBP’s San Diego field office sent out this internal intel bulletin on Friday, alerting officers that Hamas, Hezbollah, & Palestinian Islamic Jihad foreign fighters inspired by the Israel conflict may be encountered at the U.S. southern border. Gives officers… pic.twitter.com/vBw5tv7lXg
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) October 23, 2023
Under President Biden’s leadership, the U.S. is already experiencing a surge in illegal alien crossers who are on the “Terrorist Watch List.” Over the last year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “has encountered 149 illegal aliens at the nation’s northern and southern borders who were revealed to be listed on the federal government’s Terrorist Watch List,” as Breitbart News detailed.
The vast majority of the border crossers on the Terrorist Watch List, 146, were encountered at the southern border. That reflects a 7,350 percent increase in such encounters when compared to Fiscal Year 2017.
A report from House Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), further details this phenomenon, noting that Border Patrol “apprehended just 14 individuals whose names were on the [Terrorist Watch List], with most of them attempting to enter through the southwest border” between Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2020.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is demanding President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, disclose the number of “special interest aliens” released into the U.S. Such illegal aliens are described as “a non-U.S. person who, based on an analysis of travel patterns, potentially poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests.”
“I write with alarm regarding the uptick in potential terrorist-linked illegal aliens encountered at the southern border. This development follows the barbaric attack perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on innocent American and Israeli civilians,” Hawley detailed in the October 18 letter, emphasizing it is “imperative that you address this issue immediately to ensure the safety of American citizens, especially Jewish Americans, who are facing increased threats to their physical safety following the Hamas attack.”
Hawley also asked Mayorkas to describe what steps the department has taken to “heighten security standards at the southern border following Hamas’ attack on Israel.”