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4 people with names on terror watchlist arrested at US southern border since October 1: reports


Three individuals were reportedly from Yemen, and the fourth was from Serbia

John Moore/Getty Images

Four people whose names match those of suspects on the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database have been arrested trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico since Oct. 1 of last year, according to multiple reports.

What are the details?

Axios first reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed to Congress Tuesday that three of the individuals apprehended were Yemen nationals and another was Serbian, citing an unnamed congressional aide who was purportedly "briefed on the correspondence."

Fox News then confirmed the report, citing a congressional aide "familiar with CBP information," noting that the "Serbian national was encountered on Jan. 28, amid an increasing surge in migrant numbers in recent months."

The outlet pointed out that "House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy [R-Calif.] said on Monday, during a visit to the border, that Border Patrol agents had been warning lawmakers about foreign nationals on the terror watch list getting in," adding that "McCarthy said migrants were coming from Yemen, China, Sri Lanka and Iran." Fox also reported that "Border Patrol agents arrested 11 Iranian citizens in Arizona last month."

The Daily Wire reported that Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) also warned that terror suspects were "starting to exploit the southern border" under President Joe Biden's loosened policies on border security.

"Individuals that they have on the watch list for terrorism are now starting to exploit the southern border," Katko — the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee — said during a press conference at the border. "People who they've got in the last few days… have been on the terror watchlist."

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that Democrats dismissed McCarthy's claims, even calling him a liar.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tweeted in reaction to the minority leader's comments, "Weird as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations and a border state member of Congress haven't heard anything about this. Gonna ask for a briefing. Pretty sure he is either wrong or lying."

The Post wrote:

McCarthy's claims echo repeated assertions by President Donald Trump and members of his administration that terrorists were using the southern border to sneak into the United States, a line Trump often used to justify his attempts to build a wall and tighten immigration rules.

But those claims withered under scrutiny.

McCarthy shared the Axios story on social media on Tuesday, tweeting, "The crisis at the border is a national security vulnerability for the U.S. As I said yesterday and Border Patrol confirmed today, they have caught individuals on the Terrorist Watch List attempting to enter our country. We must secure our border now."

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