Shafaq News/ The White House has drawn attention to a smuggler associated with a foreign extremist group who has reportedly aided Uzbek migrants in entering the United States via Mexico, prompting concerns about potential security risks.
However, a US official speaking anonymously to Reuters revealed that the smuggler has affiliations with the "ISIS" organization and operates from Turkey. CNN previously reported this detail.
Adrienne Watson, the White House National Security Council spokesperson, released a statement indicating that intelligence agencies had unearthed a smuggling network that enabled Uzbeks to enter the US. The smuggler involved has connections to a foreign organization designated as a terrorist group by the United States.
Watson clarified that authorities had not uncovered evidence linking the migrants assisted by the smuggling network to extremist organizations or terrorist plotting. She refrained from confirming the specific association of the smuggler with the Islamic State or the location of the operation in Turkey.
The FBI is reportedly locating around 15 out of the 120 Uzbek immigrants who entered the United States through legal border crossings facilitated by this network.
An FBI spokesperson stated that the agency had not identified any concrete terrorist plot connected to foreign nationals who recently entered the United States via the southern border. Further elaboration on the matter was declined.
Since the assumption of office by President Joe Biden in 2021, there has been a notable surge in illegal border crossings along the US-Mexico border, with many migrants hailing from distant nations. Critics from the Republican Party argue that Biden's policies have inadvertently encouraged this increase by diverging from the more stringent approach taken by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.
In contrast, the Biden administration contends that its policies have aimed to strike a more humane balance, considering the complex immigration challenges spanning the Western Hemisphere.
Official statistics from the US government reveal that, among the nearly two million immigrants apprehended at the US-Mexico border between October 2022 and July 2023, 216 individuals were flagged due to potential ties to terrorism.