New York Post

Mex-crossing ‘terror’ busts climb: CBP

- Snejana Farberov

Authoritie­s apprehende­d more than three dozen people named on the federal terrorism watchlist at the US-Mexico border in the final three months of 2022 — after a record number of terror suspects were caught in the 12 months ending Sept. 30 last year.

According to US Customs and Border Protection, 38 people identified as known terrorists, suspected terrorists or their associates were stopped while attempting to cross into the US between official points of entry since Oct. 1.

In fiscal year 2022, CBP apprehende­d 98 people whose names appeared on the terror watchlist trying enter the US illegally. That number is on pace to top 150 in fiscal year 2023.

The watchlist was establishe­d after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as a federal database of known foreign terrorists. It has expanded to include suspected terrorists and their known affiliates.

Between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2020, only 11 people on the terror watchlist were arrested trying to enter the US from Mexico. In fiscal year 2021, there were 15 arrests related to the terror watchlist before spiking to 98 after Oct. 1, 2021, when fiscal 2022 began.

Meanwhile, the latest numbers from CBP indicate there were 251,487 border encounters in December — the first time on record that number has topped 250,000.

Those figures do not include “gotaways” — people spotted by the Border Patrol but not apprehende­d after crossing.

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