Smuggling network with ‘ISIS ties’ is trafficking migrants across southern border, FBI says: ‘Very dangerous threats’

News & Politics

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday that there is a smuggling network with “ISIS ties” trafficking migrants into the United States, the New York Post reported.

In response to a question from Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Wray stated, “I want to be a little bit careful how far I can go in open session, but 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.”

“Exactly what that network is up to is something that’s, again, the subject of our current investigation,” he noted.

Wray acknowledged that “dangerous individuals” have entered the U.S. through the southern border.

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“We are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border,” Wray explained. “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.”

He added that the FBI “seized enough fentanyl in the last two years to kill 270 million people.”

According to Wray, the threats against the nation have reached a “whole other level” since Hamas attacked Israel in October, ABC News reported.

“Even before October 7, I would have told this committee that we were at a heightened threat level from a terrorism perspective — in the sense that it’s the first time I’ve seen in a long, long time,” Wray continued. “The threats from homegrown violent extremists that is jihadist-inspired, extremists, domestic violent extremists, foreign terrorist organizations, and state-sponsored terrorist organizations all being elevated at one time since October 7, though, that threat has gone to a whole other level. And so, this is a time, I think, for much greater vigilance, maybe been called upon us.”

Wray told the committee that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working together to investigate migrants whose travel may have been facilitated by overseas terrorist networks.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) asked the FBI director whether terrorists could be among the 1.8 million “gotaways” who snuck into the country without being apprehended by Border Patrol agents.

Wray replied, “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.”

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