White House Confirms ISIS Aided Migrants Over US Border

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The White House confirmed on Tuesday a report that a smuggler with ties to ISIS helped migrants enter the United States from Mexico, setting off alarm bells throughout the government.

CNN earlier reported that the FBI is investigating more than a dozen Uzbek nationals who entered the country through the southern border earlier this year. More than a dozen migrants from Uzbekistan and other countries were allowed into the US after they sought asylum at the southern border with Mexico earlier this year. Panic set in when US intelligence officials found that the migrants traveled with the help of a smuggler with ties to ISIS, according to multiple US officials.

The incident was so alarming that an urgent classified intelligence report was included in the morning briefing book for President Joe Biden’s top Cabinet members, the report said. It also prompted a flurry of emergency meetings between the top national security and administration officials.

In a statement, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is working to “identify and assess” the individuals who entered the U.S., but that they had identified no specific plot. U.S. officials, the statement said, do not believe the Uzbek nationals had any terrorist ties — but at least one individual involved in the smuggling network they took advantage of was believed to have ties to a terrorist organization, which both CNN and the Associated Press identified as the Islamic State (also called ISIS).

U.S. officials do not believe the Uzbek nationals who used the smuggling network had any terrorist ties or were planning a terrorist attack, said a statement from National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson.