Yemenis on FBI terror watch list stopped at US-Mexico border

Both of the men were on no-fly lists and “known to be or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

U.S. Border Patrol agents recently arrested two Yemeni men on the FBI terrorist watch list who were attempting to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border, federal authorities revealed Monday.

In two separate incidents, two Yemeni nationals were caught trying to enter the U.S. near southern California’s Calexico point of entry. Authorities did not reveal the names of the men.

The men, aged 33 and 26, were caught on January 29th and March 30th. Both of the men were on no-fly lists and “known to be or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activities,” according to the FBI.

According to Border Patrol, the older man was found to have hidden a SIM card in the insole of his shoe.

“Part of the Border Patrol’s mission states we will protect the country from terrorists,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino.

“Today, like every other day, our agents did that. These apprehensions at our border illustrates the importance of our mission and how we can never stop being vigilant in our everyday mission to protect this great country.”

“Our border security efforts are layered and include multiple levels of rigorous screening that allow us to detect and prevent people who pose national security or public safety risks from entering,” said the Border Patrol in a statement.

In March, House Minority whip Kevin McCarthy warned that potential terrorists were attempting to enter the U.S. via the Mexican border

“It’s not just people from Mexico or Honduras or El Salvador,” McCarthy told Fox News. “They’re now finding people from Yemen, Iran, Turkey – people on the terrorist watch list.”

At the time, his remarks sparked backlash from several government agencies.

“Encounters of known and suspected terrorists at our borders are very uncommon,” a Border Patrol spokesperson said in a statement.

U.S. counterterrorism officials told Voice of America, “We do not see any evidence that ISIS or other Sunni terrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the southern U.S. border.”