Amid heightened concerns about potential terrorist activity in the United States, FBI Director Christopher Wray faced intense questioning from Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing. The discussion centered around whether the country is safer from foreign threats now than it was before President Joe Biden took office.
Senator Scott’s question came against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, which has raised fears of potential terrorist attacks. Many are worried that this conflict could inspire radical extremists to carry out attacks in Western nations, including the United States.
Compounding these fears is the ongoing border crisis at the southern border, which has drawn attention from lawmakers. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department’s Intelligence Division has issued a warning to law enforcement agencies close to the border, cautioning them to expect attempts by terrorists sympathetic to Hamas to enter the U.S. through the border.
In a “Law Enforcement Sensitive” advisory, the agency warned that sympathizers of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad may try to conceal their travel or transit to the U.S. by exploiting the open southern border.
The Biden administration’s failure to address the border crisis has made matters worse, as border officials have recently apprehended a record number of illegal immigrants with ties to terrorist groups. According to CBP statistics released in September, they arrested 18 people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list in September alone, making it a record year for terrorist-related encounters at the southern border.
In the past 12 months, 169 individuals on the watch list were encountered between ports of entry at the border, surpassing the record total from fiscal year 2020 and exceeding the number of encounters in the previous six fiscal years combined. This raises concerns about how many more individuals may have slipped through the cracks and entered the country undetected.
These alarming numbers make it no wonder that FBI Director Wray struggled to answer Senator Scott’s question about whether the country is safer from foreign threats now than before President Biden took office. The lack of action by the current administration to address the border crisis has placed the safety of Americans in jeopardy. With no signs of the situation improving, it is crucial that measures are taken to secure the border and prevent potential terrorists from entering the country.
In light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the heightened risks of terrorist attacks, the country must remain vigilant and take steps to protect itself. It is essential that the Biden administration addresses the border crisis and works towards securing the nation’s safety. Failure to do so could have severe consequences for the country and its citizens.