Iranian national with terror ties caught crossing US northern border illegally

An Iranian national with links to terrorism attempted to cross illegally into the U.S. via the northern border, officials announced this week — coming amid ongoing concerns about the potential for those with terror ties to enter via the border. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a release this week that it has removed the Iranian, who is also a permanent resident of Canada, a national security priority and wanted for assault, back to Canada. The unnamed man had tried to enter legally in October at the port of entry in Niagara Falls, but was refused entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and turned back to Canadian border officials. BORDER PATROL ENCOUNTERED 17 PEOPLE ON TERROR WATCH LIST AT SOUTHERN BORDER IN NOVEMBER  He was then arrested two days later trying to enter illegally between the ports of entry near the Whirlpool Bridge port of entry. He was served with an expedited order of removal in November and was removed to Canada earlier this month based on a Safe Third Country agreement between the two countries. “The strong law enforcement partnership between ERO Buffalo and Canadian law enforcement authorities is imperative to increasing national security and preventing dangerous individuals from fleeing justice,” Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Buffalo Field Office Director Thomas Brophy said in a statement.  “The Canadian resident’s return to Canada to face charges is due to the dedicated officers on both sides of the border, working in tandem, to provide public safety for our communities,” he said. The arrest comes amid continued concerns that terrorists may try to enter the U.S. through the land borders, particularly at the southern border where officials are overwhelmed with the migrant numbers coming over. But the northern border has also seen a sharp increase in encounters too. In FY 23, there were 484 encounters of people on the FBI’s terror watch list at the ports of entry, and three between ports of entry. BORDER NUMBERS FOR DECEMBER BREAK MONTHLY RECORD, AS BIDEN ADMIN TALKS AMNESTY WITH MEXICO  The Department of Homeland Security’s threat assessment, published in October, noted that agents have encountered a growing number on the watch list and warned that “terrorists and criminal actors may exploit the elevated flow and increasingly complex security environment to enter the United States.” “Individuals with terrorism connections are interested in using established travel routes and permissive environments to facilitate access to the United States,” the assessment also said. At the same time, FBI Director Christopher Wray has said that those who evade Border Patrol and get into the U.S. as gotaways are a source of “great concern” for the agency. Officials have also stressed that encounters of those on the watchlist are uncommon, and have highlighted the multi-layered screening processes designed to weed out those with terror ties coming into the U.S. — as they did with the Iranian encountered this year. “Encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are very uncommon, underscoring the critical work CBP Agents and Officers carry out every day on the front lines,” the agency states on its website. “DHS works tirelessly to secure our borders through a combination of highly trained personnel, ground and aerial monitoring systems, and robust intelligence and information sharing networks.”
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