The FBI is currently searching for over a dozen Uzbek migrants who may have been brought into the U.S. by someone linked to ISIS. CNN has indicated that these Uzbeks had sought asylum and, after arriving at the southern border, were released into the country.
Though these individuals underwent initial screening, it was later that the FBI identified an Uzbek smuggling ring, potentially in association with a Turkish individual with past links to ISIS. In response, there were numerous meetings among national security and administrative officials.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated that there is no current evidence suggesting these migrants have ties to terrorist groups or are planning any form of attack.
“There was no indication — and remains no indication — that any of the individuals facilitated by this network have a connection to a foreign terrorist organization or are engaged in plotting a terrorist attack in the United States,” she said to CNN.
However, CNN reported that some of these migrants remain under FBI observation for potential security concerns. Watson emphasized that security processes are continuously updated to ensure maximum safety. The challenge lies in monitoring migrants after their release, as emphasized by reporting elsewhere.
There is speculation, based on CNN's findings, that even if the administration was aware of the potential ISIS connection, the migrants might have been admitted because the Turkish associate could have been acting independently, rather than representing ISIS.
Some officials who spoke to CNN believe that this situation illustrates the ongoing efforts to maintain border security and shows the system functioning as intended.