U.S. agents have arrested an Afghan national on U.S. terrorist watchlists in San Diego County after he illegally crossed the border from Mexico with a group of migrants.
U.S. Border Patrol agents made the arrest of the unnamed suspect who is on FBI Terror watchlists. While the Federal of Bureau of Investigation has declined to comment on the matter U.S. congressional representative Darrel Issa confirmed the capture on Twitter.
“I can confirm that a wanted terrorist crossed our open border in the San Diego region just days ago — even if the Biden Administration won’t,” Issa said in a written statement on the social media app Twitter.
Issa is the congressional representative for the region where the arrest took place — Otay Mesa. The arrests come as new debates have been sparked about U.S. immigration policy and toward the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
A group of Republican congressmen have challenged the administration of President Joe Biden over its policy toward Afghanistan. The Republican-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee has ordered Secretary of State Antony Blinken to turn over a diplomatic cable related to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. If not, he faces contempt of congress. Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said the State Department’s efforts to comply with a March 28 subpoena regarding the document was insufficient.
“Should you fail to comply, the Committee is prepared to take the necessary steps to enforce its subpoena, including holding you in contempt of Congress and/or initiating a civil enforcement proceeding,” McCaul said in the letter. Were the charges to be prosecuted it would be the first such case in U.S. history.
In this heightened partisan context, the FBI has declined to comment on the arrest in Otay Mesa, CA according to a report in local media.
“The FBI has no comment on your specific inquiry. We are vigilant in our efforts to detect and assess possible threats and we work closely with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe,” FBI San Diego Public Affairs said in a response to a query on the case from NBC San Diego, CA.
The individual was captured while attempting to infiltrate the U.S. with a group of migrants. After he and others in the group were detained a fingerprint scan in the Terrorist Screening Database reportedly matched him with an Afghan individual linked to terrorism. Thus far more than 70 non-US citizens on the FBI’s terror watchlist have been arrested so far during U.S. Customs And Border Patrol operations in the current year. Last year the CBP conducted 98 such arrests in total which suggests that this year’s total could easily surpass those of the previous year.
The news of the arrest comes after a shift in U.S. immigration policy. Last week, the Biden administration announced new regulations along the US-Mexico known as the “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” rule. The new regulations replace the Title 42 public health order, which then President Donald Trump introduced to stem the spread of COVID-19 but, was also seen as an effort to strictly limit illegal immigration.
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