An Alleged ISIS Member Sneaked into the U.S., Stayed Illegally for 2 Years

( – US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) numbers show there were over 2.3 million encounters with migrants at the southern border in 2023. The US monitors crossings in the border states of California, New Mexico, and Arizona. One of the people who crossed into Arizona was a possible ISIS member who remained free in the US for two years.

On April 17, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Jovokhir Attoev, a 33-year-old man from Uzbekistan, in Baltimore. In March, the federal government uncovered information previously reported by his home country in May 2023. The Uzbekistan government put out an international notice that Attoev might have ties to the terrorist organization ISIS. He was a wanted man. While that information was shared almost a year ago, officials in the US didn’t discover the warning until they began reviewing Attoev’s asylum application.

When the Uzbek man first crossed into the United States in 2022, he was stopped by border patrol agents. Both ICE and the CBP investigated the migrant and found nothing alarming in his record, so they set a hearing date for him and let him go. While Attoev is now detained, multiple law enforcement officials stated they had not yet determined whether or not the 33-year-old had any ties to ISIS or if he ever planned or carried out an attack on the group’s behalf. The matter is still under investigation.

A spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the department “screens and vets” people looking to enter the US to determine whether or not they are a security threat using information they have at the time. If DHS uncovers intel at a later date, the group and its “federal partners investigate,” and “detain, remove, or refer” them to the proper authorities as appropriate for further investigation.

Attoev will appear in immigration court in New Jersey this week where it’s likely that ICE will request he remain detained while the agency gathers more information about him. The migrant is currently in custody in Pennsylvania.

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