It took U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) two weeks to arrest an FBI-flagged suspected terrorist who had been released into the U.S. by Border Patrol after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Fox News reported on Monday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Screening Center flagged Isnardo Garcia-Amado, 35, as a suspected terrorist on April 21, just three days after the man was released into the U.S. by Border Patrol agents near Yuma, Arizona.
ICE wasn’t authorized to arrest the suspected terrorist until May 4. Officials ultimately apprehended Garcia-Amado on May 6 in Pinellas County, Florida. He was held in Pinellas County jail and transferred to an ICE facility on May 9, Fox reported.
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told Fox News that the agency “promptly detained” the suspected terrorist “after receiving additional … information.”
“In this instance, after receiving additional law enforcement information, ICE, in coordination with federal and local law enforcement, promptly detained this individual, who was already under supervision via a Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring device,” the spokesperson said. “Noncitizens encountered in the United States without authorization undergo multi-layered screening and vetting. Our immigration enforcement priorities are clear: DHS is focused on those who pose a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security. When we receive additional derogatory information from our law enforcement partners, DHS and our federal partners take swift action to apprehend those individuals.”
After the Garcia-Amado was discovered in his state, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis demanded that President Joe Biden’s administration explain why the suspected terrorist was released into the U.S. at all.”
“The State of Florida has consistently addressed the Biden Administration for information on illegal alien resettlement in Florida, which the federal government has declined to provide,” DeSantis said. “We demand to know why DHS released a suspected terrorist into the United States and allowed him to live freely in Florida for weeks. How many more known or suspected terrorists has the Biden administration allowed into our country?”
Border Patrol arrested at least 23 people who are on the terror watchlist attempting to make their way across the US-Mexico border last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data obtained by Fox News showed last month.
From Jan. 20 to Dec. 27, 2021, border officials were alerted 23 times of individuals whose names appeared on the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB).
Fox acquired the information through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which showed that suspected terrorists were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, the Del Rio Sector, the El Paso Sector, the Tucson Sector, the Yuma Sector, the El Centro Sector and the San Diego Sector.