Breitbart News reports that the FBI is investigating a human smuggling network helping move Uzbek migrants across the border into the United States. At least one of the smugglers is reportedly connected to the ISIS terrorist organization.
Border Patrol agents apprehended more than a dozen Uzbek nationals earlier this year who crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S. The migrants were reportedly released into the U.S. by the Biden administration to pursue asylum claims, according to a report by CNN on Tuesday.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told the news network that officials are working to “identify and assess” all of these migrants who were apprehended and subsequently released into the U.S. interior with a “Notice to Appear” to some future immigration court hearing. The FBI says there is currently no specific ISIS plot that has been identified but one of the smugglers is reported to be connected to the terrorist network.
Earlier this year, a cohort of migrants from Uzbekistan requested asylum and were screened by the Department of Homeland Security, part of a rising number of asylum seekers who have traveled to the US from Central Asia in recent years. There was no information in any of the intelligence community’s databases that raised any red flags and the people were all released into the US pending a court date.
It was only later, when the FBI learned about the existence of a human smuggling network helping Uzbek nationals travel to the US – and that this network included at least one individual with connections to ISIS – that national security officials put the pieces together.
National Security Council spokesperson Watson emphasized, “There was no indication—and remains no indication—that any of the individuals facilitated by this network have a connection to a foreign terrorist organization or are engaged in plotting a terrorist attack in the United States.”
The report stated the ISIS-connected human smuggler is not believed to be a member of the terrorist network. He is described as “more like an independent contractor.” The intelligence community believes he is not smuggling the Uzbek nationals at the behest of ISIS and that the migrants are “seeking a better life in the United States,” CNN stated.
Well, that’s a relief. Nothing to worry about, then, folks.