House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., asked the FBI and CIA to provide Congressional leaders with a classified briefing after it was reported that two illegal immigrants who were on the FBI’s terror watchlist were apprehended after crossing the southern border.
“This highlights the ongoing national security risk posed by the border crisis,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to the leaders of the two agencies.
“While I am grateful for the Border Patrol for doing all they can, I have great concerns for a number of bad actors that have escaped arrest and are living in the United States,” he said.
McCarthy’s request came after immigration officials announced that two Yemeni men had been arrested about two months apart while crossing the border illegally in California.
“While encounters of known and suspected terrorists at our borders are very uncommon, they underscore the importance of the critical work our agents carry out on a daily basis to vet all individuals encountered at our borders,” a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement.
A 33-year-old man from Yemen was stopped on Jan. 29 a few miles from the Calexico Port of Entry, a CBP official said.
A cellphone SIM car was found hidden under the insole of his shoe, authorities said.
A 26-year-old man, also from Yemen, was arrested near the same port of entry on March 30.
Both men were on the FBI’s “no-fly” list, according to authorities.
The terror watchlist includes people who are “known to be or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activities,” according to the FBI.
In addition to McCarthy, the letter said the FBI and CIA should brief Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; and Vice President Kamala Harris, who was tapped by President Joe Biden last month to lead a “diplomatic” response to the border crisis.