U.S. Border Patrol agents have apprehended at least 474 aliens from terrorism-linked countries attempting to sneak into the country illegally this year alone, according to a leaked document obtained by Breitbart Texas.
According to the document from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Intelligence and Investigative Liaison, of the 474 aliens, 76 are from terrorism-linked nations located in and around the jihadist Islamic State’s area of operation — Turkey (41), Saudi Arabia (13), Syria (7), Jordan (7), Iraq (4),Iran (3), and J Kuwait (1).
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, controls areas inside Syria and Iraq, both countries are bordered by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait and Jordan.
Illegals from terrorism-linked countries apprehended by Border Patrol agents are referred to as Special Interest Aliens (SIAs) in the CBP intelligence document.
SIAs are individuals whose native country is found on a list of 35 nations described in a November 2004 CBP memo as “special interest countries.”
A 2011 audit by the DHS inspector general, which originally included a similar list that was later taken down, described special interest countries as those “that have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members.”
CBP refused to respond to numerous requests for comment on this story.
On September 14, CNN, citing an ISIS recruit, revealed that the extremist group is recruiting foreign fighters from Somalia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Lebanon, among other countries.
Those nations are found on the list of terrorism-linked countries compiled by CBP.
Among the 474 SIAs apprehended so far in 2014 alone are 34 from countries identified in the CNN report, including: Somalia (4), Turkmenistan (1), Uzbekistan (10), Egypt (13), Tunisia (1), and Lebanon (5).
The CBP intelligence document contains SIA arrest figures from the beginning of fiscal 2009 through July 20, 2014.
During that period, nearly 3,000 SIAs were apprehended by border agents for trying to sneak into the U.S. illegally.
Among the 474 special interest aliens arrested in 2014 are individuals from Pakistan (28), Yemen (4), and Afghanistan (2). Most, 266, are from Bangladesh.
The SIA apprehension figures mentioned in this story cover illegals attempting to enter the country in between official ports of entry at or near the Southwest, Northern, and Coastal U.S. borders.
In the leaked document, the apprehensions are not broken down by border area. Historically, however, Border Patrol apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border far outnumber those taking place elsewhere.
Human smuggling routes from Syria into the U.S. go through South America, Central America, and the Caribbean before reaching Mexico, the document shows.
Syrian human smugglers reportedly use the U.S.-Mexico border to enter America.
The CBP intelligence office predicts that the 474 SIA apprehensions so far this year will grow to 560 by September 30, the end of fiscal 2014.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, under questioning by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) during a House panel hearing yesterday, was unable to articulate whether or not known or suspected terrorists have been apprehended trying to enter the United States illegally.
SIA apprehensions included in the intelligence document peaked at 647 in 2010, then dropped to 328 in 2012. A 70 percent increase is expected between 2012 and the end of 2014 when apprehensions are projected to reach an estimated 560.
At the hearing yesterday, Rep. Chaffetz said that four individuals with ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East were apprehended in Texas on September 10.