Chris Lieberman, FISM News
Border Patrol apprehended a “potential terrorist” in Yuma, Arizona who was attempting to illegally cross the border from Mexico on Thursday night.
The 21-year-old man, whose name has not been disclosed, is “linked to several Yemeni subjects of interest,” according to a tweet from Chris Clem, the top Border Patrol agent in Yuma. Neither Clem nor other officials have elaborated further on the identity or nature of these “subjects of interest.”
#USBP #YumaSector agents apprehended a potential terrorist who illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico Thursday night. The 21-year-old migrant from Saudi Arabia is linked to several Yemeni subjects of interest. #BorderSecurity is #NationalSecurity pic.twitter.com/qszg0L0OYQ
— Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem (@USBPChiefYUM) December 20, 2021
While Clem said that the man came from Saudi Arabia, the Saudi embassy distanced themselves from the suspect in a tweet on Monday, “Based on the engagement with the relevant U.S authorities on this matter, the Embassy confirms that the individual mentioned here is not a Saudi citizen. We will continue to coordinate with the US govt and bring forward any facts on this matter.”
The images Clem shared of the man show that he was wearing a jacket with a backwards American flag on one sleeve and a patch that reads, “Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps” on the other. Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps Chief Thomas Meyers confirmed to Fox News on Monday that the man was never affiliated with the New York-based ambulance corps. It is unclear how the man acquired the jacket.
In a news release, Myers said, “This unfortunate incident should help remind all organizations (specifically public safety entities) that we are trusted members of the community and on occasion people with ill intentions will pose as one of us to gain trust.”
Brandon Judd, the national president of the National Border Patrol Council, explained to the Washington Examiner the process Border Patrol uses when dealing with known or suspected terrorists. “When we apprehend somebody from a special-interest country, in all cases we immediately notify [Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations] and [Federal Bureau of Investigation]. HSI and FBI then determine what is done with that individual,” Judd said. “We have no contact with that individual unless the FBI and HSI determine they are not going to take him. If they don’t take him, then we’ll process them as normal.”
This is not the first time that a suspected terrorist has been caught at the border in recent months. In March, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told Congress that they had caught four people on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database since October 2020, according to an Axios report. At his retirement in August, outgoing Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott warned that people from the terrorist database were crossing the border “at a level we have never seen before.”
Senator Ted Cruz pointed to the president’s immigration policies as the reason for this surge in terrorist border crossings. He retweeted Clem’s post, stating, “Terrorists are taking advantage of Biden’s open borders. It’s time Biden secure [sic] our border and end the #BidenBorderCrisis.”
Illegal immigration has been at historical levels since Biden took office. The CBP recently released its monthly report revealing that there were 173,620 encounters along the southern border in November, a 5 percent increase from October’s figure. That’s more than double the number of crossings in November of 2020, and over four times more than in November 2019. The CBP’s 213,593 arrests in July represents the highest figure in at least 21 years.