U.S. officials have warned that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists could be crossing the southern border of the United States, according to a recent internal memo.
According to an internal memo sent by the San Diego Field Office Intelligence Division of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Oct. 20 and obtained by the Daily Caller warns that individuals with ties to terrorist organizations could attempt to cross the southern border in light of the recent terrorist attacks against Israel by various groups in the Middle East.
“San Diego Field Office Intelligence Unit assesses that individuals inspired by, or reacting to the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border,” the memo states. “Foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the U.S. to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico.”
The Daily Caller reported that the CBP memo specifically lists Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as potential “foreign fighters” that could attempt to enter the United States across the southern border.
According to CBP statistics, Border Patrol encountered significantly more illegal aliens on the terror watchlist at both the northern and southern borders this year than last year. In fiscal year 2023, Border Patrol had 172 encounters with individuals on the terror watchlist, compared to 98 encounters with individuals on the terror watchlist in fiscal year 2022.
The internal memo circulated by CBP warns border authorities to watch for potential indicators of individuals with ties to terrorist organizations attempting to cross the southern border. According to The Daily Caller, the potential indicators authorities have been warned to look for include military gear, military-age males, individuals traveling by themselves, and people with ties to the Middle East region.
The CBP memo also includes multiple “questions of interest” that consider the personal ties and family connections individuals could have with “Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)” and other organizations.