One day before the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, four known terrorists were apprehended on the southern border, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told Megyn Kelly Wednesday night. Worse yet, Breitbart said, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson was unable to say whether or not terrorists had illegally entered the country.
“There were actually four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border, who were apprehended at two different stations, that do have ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East,” Chaffetz told Kelly. But Johnson was unable to tell Chaffetz if any terrorists had crossed the border.
“Sitting here right now, no specific case comes to mind,” Johnson told Chaffetz. “That doesn’t mean there is none.”
“Siting here right now, none comes to mind, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one,” he later added. “Nor does that mean there is no investigation of one, either.”
Chaffetz then informed Johnson of the individuals caught on September 10 and asked if he was aware of the situation. Johnson replied, saying, “I’ve heard reports to that effect. I don’t know the accuracy of the reports or how much credence to give them, but I’ve heard reports to that effect.”
“I do agree with you that the challenge of those coming from countries other than Mexico particularly into the Rio Grande Valley sector [in Texas] is one I’m very concerned about,” Johnson added. “It’s something I’ve been concerned about since I took office in January.”
Johnson, however, approved exemptions that would allow immigrants who provided “limited material support” to terrorists into the country in February. Secretary of State John Kerry also approved the exemptions, which the administration said at the time were reasonable.
According to an “internal” DHS document, the U.S. has apprehended individuals from 143 different countries trying to enter the country illegally. Among those are 13 individuals from Syria, six from Iraq, and four from Iran. All three countries have been identified as having ties to terrorism.
Chaffetz also said that while 466,000 illegal aliens have been apprehended in fiscal year 2014, an estimated 157,012 have gotten away and 142,630 were identified as “turn-backs.” He also said there were over a million more sensor “hits” on the border this year than last, but acknowledged that animals may have contributed, providing false positive hits.
Prior to the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, a document released by the Texas Department of Public Safety warned that ISIS is actively encouraging supporters to take advantage of the porous border to engage in terror attacks against U.S. citizens. Other reports suggested ISIS militants were looking to enter the country near Juarez, across the border from El Paso.
On Monday, Sheriff Gary Painter of Midland County, Texas, said he believes some ISIS terrorists may have already crossed the border. He also told Elizabeth Hassebeck that “we have found copies, or people along the border, have found Muslim clothing, they have found Quran books that are laying on the side of the trail.”
Liberals, meanwhile, have downplayed the reports, claiming they are nothing more than attempts to attack Obama on his weak immigration policies. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, for example, claimed there’s “a longstanding history in this country of projecting whatever fears we have onto the border.”