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Lindsey Graham requests full Senate briefing on ISIS border threat after terrorist bust

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is asking Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to organize a full briefing for lawmakers in the chamber on the threat of ISIS terrorism presented by the vulnerable southern border. 

The senator requested the leaders’ “immediate assistance” to set up a classified briefing for senators on the issue in a letter sent Tuesday. 

“I have never been more worried than I am right now about an attack on our homeland due to the combination of the Biden Administration’s shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan and broken border policies. This is a lethal cocktail for America,” Graham said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

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His urgency on the matter was prompted by a recent revelation that eight Tajikistan nationals with ties to ISIS were busted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the FBI in New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia after entering the country illegally over the southern border. The sting was first reported by the New York Post’s Jennie Taer.

A federal source told Fox News that the suspected terrorists had been fully vetted prior to being released into the country. 

“While members of the Intelligence Community have offered piecemeal briefings to Congress, I believe that the threat is urgent and that a briefing should be held with all members before the Senate’s scheduled departure from Washington, D.C. at the end of next week,” the South Carolina Republican wrote. 

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Neither Schumer’s nor McConnell’s offices immediately responded to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Following the reports of the ISIS-tied immigrants’ arrests, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI said in a 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.”

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Migrants in El Paso, Texas

“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.”

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Mayorkas border

Graham’s request comes as fears of terrorism originating at the southern border continue to heighten. 

“The fact that these eight ISIS suspects got through the southern border really is a travesty,” retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard said on “Fox & Friends” in response to the latest event.

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FBI Director Christopher Wray speaking to a Senate Appropriations subcommittee

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified last year that foreign terrorists who are potentially among groups of individuals illegally crossing the border are a “source of great concern for us. That’s why we’re aggressively using all 56 of our joint terrorism task forces.”

Wray further revealed at the time that they had observed an increase in known or suspected terrorists that have sought to cross the border over the last five years. Notably, encounters with individuals on the terror watchlist rose to a record sum in fiscal year 2023. 

Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Fox News Digital’s Stepheny Price contributed to this report. 



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