U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested 18 people on the FBI’s terror watchlist along the U.S.-Mexico border in September.

This brought the total number of FBI terror watchlist suspects arrested along the southwest border in federal fiscal year 2023 to 169—more than the previous six years combined. 

According to CBP, the watchlist “is the U.S. government’s database that contains sensitive information on terrorist identities.”

It is managed by the FBI and includes information on known or suspected terrorists as well as their affiliates. 

The CBP highlighted that “Encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are very uncommon.” 

However, the current trends suggest these rare encounters are becoming more common. 

The Daily Caller recently received an internal memo from the CBP San Diego Field Office Intelligence Division warning agents to be on the lookout for members of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah.

All three are designated terrorist organizations.

“San Diego Field Office Intelligence Unit assesses that individuals inspired by, or reacting to the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border,” the memo reads.

“Foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the US to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico,” warns the memo. 

As record-breaking levels of illegal border crossings continue under President Joe Biden—with federal fiscal year 2023 reaching 2,475,669 encounters—experts have consistently warned that such a massive influx allows national security threats easier access to the U.S.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in response to the CBP memo, “This administration [Biden’s] consistently hides its own role in making America less safe, making the world less safe.”

This administration does everything they can to cover up the fact that they have flowed nearly $100 billion to Iran, which is funding this war in Israel. They do everything they can to cover up the fact that they’ve sent hundreds of billions of dollars to Gaza, which in their own internal assessment they said was highly likely to go to Hamas for them to carry out terror activity.

“They likewise accept zero responsibility for the chaos at the southern border and they do not acknowledge that it makes America less safe,” added Cruz. 

“I believe we are at a greater risk for a terrorist attack in the United States today, than we have been anytime since September 11th,” added Cruz. “And the Biden administration’s policies continue to make that more and more likely each and every day.” 

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.