Federal officials are warning that members of the terrorist groups Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad could be crossing the nation’s southern border, according to an Oct. 20 internal memo exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s San Diego Field Office Intelligence Division sent the memo warning that the war between Israel and Hamas could mean encounters with terror-tied individuals who are seeking to travel to or from the Middle East across the southern border.
Hamas, Palestinian Islamic JihadI, and Hezbollah, all U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, have committed attacks on Israel in the Israel-Hamas war, which began with Hamas’ surprise attack Oct. 7, in which it slaughtered hundreds of civilians.
“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 U.S. to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico,” the memo adds, before listing the patches of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah.
Amid record illegal immigration at the southern border, the U.S. Border Patrol has recorded a major influx of encounters of individuals whose names appear on the terror watchlist.
Border Patrol encounters with illegal aliens on the terror watchlist at the southern and northern borders hit 172 in fiscal year 2023, up from 98 in fiscal year 2022.
The latest warning of possible terrorist encounters says federal border authorities should look for indicators that include seeing military age males, military gear, lone travelers, and ties to the region, according to the memo.
The memo also lists several “questions of interest,” such as questions related to individuals’ personal or familial associations with Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or similar groups.
Customs and Border Protection didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
This article originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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