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Border Patrol agents have stopped thousands of 'special interest aliens' from Middle East at southern border since 2021: Report
PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images

Border Patrol agents have stopped thousands of 'special interest aliens' from Middle East at southern border since 2021: Report

There have been thousands of "special interest aliens" who have been apprehended by Border Patrol agents in the U.S. since 2021. The details about the nature of the illegal border crossings were reportedly leaked from Customs and Border Protection.

Fox News reported that those identified as "special interest aliens" often come from countries that the U.S. has associated with terrorism in some way, or they present a threat to national security.

The data leaked was apparently confirmed by a number of individuals from CBP, which drew out the number of arrests made between October 2021 and October 2023. Border agents reportedly engaged with 6,386 individuals from Afghanistan, 3,153 from Egypt, 659 from Iran, and 538 from Syria.

The report went on to mention that border agents ran into "12,624 from Uzbekistan, 30,830 from Turkey, 1,613 from Pakistan, 164 from Lebanon, 185 from Jordan, 123 from Iraq and 15,594 from Mauritania," according to Fox News.

The frequency with which individuals from the Middle East have been attempting to get into the U.S. from Mexico has increased over the past few years. NBC News reported last month that as of July, there have been 160 migrants who match those on the Terrorist Screening Dataset and were subsequently apprehended by CBP in 2023. This is a dramatic increase from 2022, when there were 100 apprehended for the same reason.

As of July, there were a total of 216 people apprehended by Border Patrol who were on the terror watch list, whereas 165 were apprehended in 2022. However, the number of individuals attempting to cross the border in 2019 who were on the terror watch list reached 280, per NBC.

An official with the Department of Homeland Security said that those on the terror watch list crossing the border is consistent with the number of people trying to get into the country from areas of conflict.

Officials said last month that domestic terrorists will continue to be a threat throughout 2023 and that the number of those radicalized in the U.S. "will remain high but unchanged."

However, the worry over terrorism around the world has recently increased since Hamas' attacks against Israel. Though the attacks took place in the Middle East, there have been many Palestinians throughout Europe who were seen waving the Palestinian flag and cheering on the attacks over the weekend.

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