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Number of Suspected Terrorists Removed by ICE Skyrocketed in Fiscal Year 2023

Photo by Bryan Cox/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Photo by Bryan Cox/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation

The number of suspected illegal alien terrorists removed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) skyrocketed in fiscal year 2023.

ICE removed a total of 139 known or suspected terrorists in 2023, a 148% increase compared to 2022, according to the organization’s annual report released on Friday. Federal agencies have warned in recent months that the threat of terrorism in the U.S. and at the southern border has reached new heights.

The amount of individual terrorist threats removed by ICE in 2023 is the highest figure recorded since at least 2016, according to a review of ICE’s annual reports. The number of removals recorded in 2022 was 56, and the number the year prior was 34.

Federal agencies circulated an internal warning in October that members from terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad could be crossing the border. These groups, as well as several other Iranian-backed militias, have become increasingly hostile to the U.S. since Hamas launched terrorist attacks against Israel on Oct. 7 that left 1,200 civilians dead.

During a congressional hearing in October, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas could not provide the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. that were linked to Islamic terrorist groups. FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a separate hearing that the risk of terrorism was at “a whole other level” following the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks, according to The Washington Times.

“I see blinking lights everywhere I turn,” Wray said on Dec. 5.

ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Related Story: New Data: Border Agents Apprehended 151 Illegal Migrants on Terror Watchlist Last Year

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