Border Patrol Agents Have Apprehended over 30 on the Terrorism Watch List Since October

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U.S. border patrol agents have apprehended 31 individuals on the terror watch list since October, the overwhelming majority of them along the border with Mexico, according to Customs and Border Protection data. 

The data, updated Friday, shows that agents encountered 30 individuals on the terror watch list along the southern border and one individual on the northern border, according to News Nation. The number of such encounters has increased in recent years, from three in the fiscal year 2020 to 16 in 2021, 98 in 2022, and 172 in 2023. Nearly all of them were along the border with Mexico.

The 31 individuals represent fiscal year 2024, which began in October. 

The watch list contains “known or suspected terrorists” and “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,” the Customs and Border Protection says.

“Encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are very uncommon, underscoring the critical work CBP Agents and Officers carry out every day on the frontlines. 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.”

The 31 individuals represent 0.0081 percent of all encounters along the border. Last year, it was 0.0083 percent, while the previous year it was 0.0044 percent.  

The watch list itself has grown in recent years, from 1.1 million in 2017 to approximately 2 million today, according to a CBS News report. In 2003, it was 120,000. 

“Those 2 million people who are on the list are on there for a reason,” Monte Hawkins, who has served on the National Security Council for every administration since 9/11, told CBS News.

The “vast majority” of individuals on the list are not U.S. citizens, he said.

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/John Moore / Staff

Video Courtesy: Fox Business via YouTube

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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