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Video: ‘ISIS’ tied to human smuggling at U.S-Mexico border, FBI director warns

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray. (Graeme Jennings/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)
March 13, 2024

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray warned Monday that the agency has “concerns” regarding “ISIS ties” to a “smuggling network” at the southern border between the United States and Mexico.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked the FBI director whether any of the smuggling organizations at the southern border were linked to individuals with ties to terrorist organizations such as ISIS.   

“There is a particular network that, where some of the overseas facilitators of the smuggling network have ISIS ties that we’re very concerned about and that we’ve been spending enormous amount of effort with our partners investigating,” Wray told Rubio. “Exactly what that network is up to is something that’s, again, the subject of our current investigation.”

While Wray warned that a smuggling network at the southern border has ties to ISIS, the FBI director did not disclose specific details during Monday’s open Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

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During Monday’s open hearing, Wray warned of multiple “dangerous threats” facing the United States as a result of the current crisis at the southern border.

“From an FBI perspective, we are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border,” the FBI director said. “And that includes everything from drug trafficking — the FBI alone seized enough fentanyl in the last two years to kill 270 million people — that’s just on the fentanyl side. An awful lot of the violent crime in the United States is at the hands of gangs who are themselves involved in the distribution of that fentanyl.”

An annual report published in February by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence noted that the United States is currently “facing a fragile world order” due to “accelerating strategic competition with major authoritarian powers.” The report warned that terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda have been “inspired” by the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel and have “directed their supporters to conduct attacks against Israeli and US interests.”

Asked by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) whether terrorists could account for some of the 1.8 million “gotaways” that are believed to have illegally entered the United States under the Biden administration without being encountered by border agents, Wray acknowledged it was certainly possible, according to The New York Post.

“I think there are many ways the national security ramifications of the issues at the border are better reflected in some ways more by what we don’t know about the people who snuck in, provided fake documents or in some other way, got in when there wasn’t sufficient information about the time they came in to connect the dots,” Wray said.