FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday said that the number of illegal immigrants evading Border Patrol agents and escaping into the country is a source of "great concern" for the agency -- as he told lawmakers that threats from the other side of the border are "consuming" FBI field offices.
Wray testified to lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee about "worldwide threats" to the U. S. Chairman Mark Green asked Wray about the numbers of gotaways -- illegal immigrants at the border who evaded Border Patrol -- which have exceeded 600,000 in FY 23. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources tell Fox News there have been over 47,000 gotaways since the beginning of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.
Green said the number of gotaways since the beginning of the Biden administration could be well over two million.
"Can the FBI guaranteed American people that known or suspected terrorists, including any from Hamas or other terror groups, are not amongst those gotaways?" he asked.
"Well, certainly the group of people that you're talking about are source of great concern for us. That's why we're aggressively using all 56 of our joint terrorism task forces," Wray said.
He later said that "any time you have a group of people in the United States that we don't know nearly enough about, that is a source of of concern for us from a perspective in our lane of protecting Americans."
He testified that there have been an increase in the number of known or suspected terrorists attempting to cross the border in the last five years -- the number of those encountered on the terror watchlist hit record numbers in FY 23.
He said he couldn’t speak to why that is but added "I can you that the threats that come from the other side of the border are very much consuming all 56 of our field offices, not just in the border states."
The testimony comes amid renewed concern, particularly from Republicans but also from within the Biden administration, about the potential for terrorists to use the border to gain access to the United States, particularly as Border Patrol agents are dealing with record migrant numbers.... (Read more)
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