The FBI is investigating a potential terrorist trafficking operation at the southern border which includes Uzbek nationals seeking asylum through a smuggler operation with ties to ISIS, CNN reported Tuesday.
Newsmax border correspondent Jaeson Jones received an intelligence report from a Customs and Border Patrol agent last week that showed a 5,127% increase in Uzbekistanis crossing the southern border.
Smugglers were receiving between $7,000 and $38,000 in fees related to getting more than a dozen Uzbeki migrants across the border, according to the intelligence report.
The White House and key congressional committees have been briefed on the reports of the potential ISIS ties, sources told CNN.
Uzbekistan migrants crossing the border in waves earlier this year were released into the U.S. pending a court date, which — coupled with the FBI intelligence of at least one ISIS-tied smuggler — has raised fears that potential ISIS terrorists are roaming the U.S., according to the report.
The FBI and government agencies are scrambling to locate the Uzbekistan migrants, CNN reported.
“There was no indication — and remains no indication — that any of the individuals facilitated by this network have a connection to a foreign terrorist organization or are engaged in plotting a terrorist attack in the United States,” a National Security Council spokesperson, Adrienne Watson, told CNN in a statement.
“We continually assess our security architecture to ensure that we are best poised to respond to threats to the homeland.
“Moreover, we will continue to constantly recalibrate our screening, vetting, and processing of those encountered entering the United States to ensure that we are taking into account the most up-to-date information at our disposal and with an unyielding commitment to protecting Americans and the homeland from the full range of potential threats.”
Security measures are being taken at the border for those who “fit the profile associated with individuals who were facilitated by this network,” according to Watson.
“While the FBI has not identified a specific terrorism plot associated with foreign nationals who recently entered the United States at the southern border, we always work with our field offices across the country, as well as our domestic and international partners, to identify any potential illegal activity or terrorism threats,” the FBI wrote in a statement to CNN.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016, starting on the first night of the Republican National Convention. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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