What You Need To Know:
The FBI has initiated an investigation into a group of Uzbek nationals who entered the US via the southern border seeking asylum earlier this year. This development was triggered by intelligence reports revealing their association with a smuggler tied to ISIS. Although no specific ISIS plots have been detected, US authorities are working to assess each individual’s entry into the country.
The incident has raised significant concerns, prompting the circulation of a classified intelligence report among President Joe Biden’s top Cabinet officials.
Initially, a group of migrants from Uzbekistan sought asylum and underwent screening by the Department of Homeland Security. Despite no prior intelligence flags, a subsequent discovery of a human smuggling network assisting Uzbek nationals in their travel to the US—linked to an individual associated with ISIS—prompted national security officials to take further action.
To address this, the FBI rapidly deployed agents across the nation to locate and investigate the backgrounds of these migrants. Collaborating with Turkish authorities, who arrested the smuggler and his associates at the request of the US, the FBI obtained crucial information for its inquiry.
It’s important to emphasize that there is no current evidence to suggest that the individuals connected to this network are affiliated with any foreign terrorist organization or engaged in plotting attacks on US soil, according to National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson.
Although the smuggler with ISIS connections is not believed to be an actual member of the terror group, rather an independent contractor with personal sympathies towards it, US officials now lean towards the belief that he operated without direct orders from ISIS.