U.S.-Canada border sees record spike in terror suspect apprehensions, surpassing Mexico

Last year, US Customs and Border Protection agents apprehended a record number of individuals with known or suspected terrorist ties at the northern border.

U.S.-Canada border sees record spike in terror suspect apprehensions, surpassing Mexico
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Border patrol officials say that an alarming amount of suspected terrorists are crossing the US-Canada border from Canada, outpacing numbers seen at the US-Mexico border.

Last year, US Customs and Border Protection agents apprehended a record number of individuals with known or suspected terrorist ties at the northern border.

In fiscal year 2023, 484 individuals were detained at the northern border, surpassing the previous record of 313 in fiscal year 2022, with no signs of the trend slowing down.

The latest CBP data reveals that 143 known or suspected terrorists were arrested in the first six months of fiscal year 2024.

This number exceeds the 92 individuals apprehended at the Mexico border.

“The northern border is under-resourced by far compared to the southwest border,” said former Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan to The Center Square. “But at the same time, it still represents significant threats. Cartels are expanding their operations, flying people into Canada, which doesn’t require a visa, presenting an opportunity for terrorist watch-listed individuals to exploit. It’s much easier to get to Canada to come across.”

“Data from 39 months shows terrorist watch-listed individuals are coming here every day and they aren’t stopping,” Morgan continued.

CBP intelligence shows that foreign violent extremists may exploit known smuggling routes to avoid detection. Additionally, the northern border has experienced significant drug smuggling activities linked to criminal groups with connections to Mexican drug trafficking organizations, as well as human smuggling operations.

Despite significant border security enhancements over the past decade, including deploying over 2,200 additional agents and 3,700 officers at various entry points, resources still lag behind the severity of the situation.

Over 1,400 illegal border crossers were apprehended last month at the border, more than what was apprehended in both 2021 and 2022 combined, Swanton Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Robert Garcia announced.

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