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Authorities nab 8 suspected terrorists with ties to ISIS in multi-city sting operation

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Eight Tajikistan nationals with ties to ISIS were busted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force in three major cities, a federal source confirmed to Fox News.

The arrests took place in New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia in recent days, according to the source. 

All eight Tajikistan nationals crossed the U.S. southern border illegally, and according to a federal source familiar with the sting, no derogatory information was initially flagged with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during processing.

The suspected terrorists were “fully vetted” and nothing was flagged, according to Fox News’ federal source. 

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Fox News’ source said after the suspected terrorists were released into the U.S., derogatory information was flagged with national security concerns, including the individual’s ties to ISIS.

The sting operation was first reported by the New York Post’s Jennie Taer. 

According to Taer’s report, part of the investigation featured a wiretap which revealed one of the now-arrested individuals was talking about bombs.

“Remember the Boston marathon [bombing]? I’m afraid something like that might happen again or worse,” one of the sources told The Post.

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An U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer

When contacted about the report by Fox News, the FBI and ICE sent a joint statement:

“Over the last few days, ICE agents arrested several non-citizens pursuant to immigration authorities. The actions were carried out in close coordination with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The individuals arrested are detained in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.  As the FBI and DHS have recently described in public and partner bulletins, the U.S. has been in a heightened threat environment. The FBI and DHS will continue working around the clock with our partners to identify, investigate, and disrupt potential threats to national security,” – DHS/FBI joint statement

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