A dangerous Afghan national with ties to the Taliban, who was plotting to carry out a terror attack in North America, was caught last fall after being smuggled into the U.S. through Mexico at the border. The Afghan was picked up and detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents about 15 miles inside Arizona from the border. He was arrested along with five Pakistani citizens and two Mexicans identified as smugglers.
The incident sparked debate over border security and illegal immigration.
The Afghan national’s terror ties were not initially recorded into a terror database when the incident first came to light last November, according to Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of California. Hunter obtained Homeland Security documents on the incident, but it was only later U.S. officials discovered his associations.
“We don’t know who’s coming into the U.S. and what they’re bringing with them,” Hunter reported to Fox News. “It is as bad as it seems. [It was] a monumental failure.”
The Afghan claimed he crossed into the U.S. on Nov. 13, 2015 by crawling under a border fence near Nogales, Ariz. But an initial check in one of the terror databases did not flag him. As a result, all six “special interest” illegal immigrants were cleared by the National Targeting Center.
Hunter wrote the Afghan was said to be “involved in a plot to conduct an attack in the U.S. and/or Canada and has family ties to members of the Taliban.” For reasons unknown, the individual was not initially watch-listed in the Terrorist Screening Database – thus these associations were not initially noticed.
The information shared with FoxNews.com showed at least a dozen illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan have either made it across the U.S. border, dating back to 2014. “The American people would have had no clue on this if we didn’t get these documents from Homeland Security,” Hunter said Friday.
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