Arrests and Encounters of FBI Terror Watchlist Suspects at Southern Border Hits All-Time High

New data reveals that the number of suspects from the FBI’s terror watchlist who have been arrested or encountered at the southern border has reached a new record high in the fiscal year 2023.

As Fox News reports, the new data released Tuesday shows that at least 125 arrests of high-profile terror suspects have taken place at the border since October, marking a massive increase from previous years. The previous record was 98 such encounters in the 2022 fiscal year. Back in fiscal year 2021, there were a mere 15 arrests, and only three such arrests in fiscal year 2020. In fiscal year 2019, there were zero encounters with terror suspects.

The suspects all appear on the watch list formally known as the Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS), the government list which “contains sensitive information on terrorist identities.”

“The TSDS originated as the consolidated terrorist watchlist to house information on known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) but has evolved over the last decade to include additional individuals who represent a potential threat to the United States, including known affiliates of watchlisted individuals,” says Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

Overall, at least 599,000 illegal aliens escaped from Border Patrol custody in the 2022 fiscal year, a significant rise from 390,000 who did so in the 2021 fiscal year. Although the total number of illegals far surpasses the number of terror suspects, concerns have nevertheless been raised by Republicans and many border authorities regarding the dangers of so many potential terrorists freely entering the United States through a wide-open and largely unguarded border.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: LA JOYA, TEXAS - APRIL 10: Unaccompanied minors (L), are grouped apart from families waiting to be processed by U.S. Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico border on April 10, 2021 in La Joya, Texas. A surge of immigrants crossing into the United States, including record numbers of children, continues along the southern border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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