Border Patrol apprehended more terrorism suspects in 2023 than in the previous six years combined

The majority of encounters with agents at ports of entry occurred on the Southern Border, while interceptions at border posts skyrocketed in the North.

Arrests of terrorism suspects caught trying to enter the country skyrocketed during fiscal year 2023. This year alone, Border Patrol agents intercepted 172 people included on the list of Known Terrorists or Terrorist Suspects, a number that exceeds the sum of those apprehended in the last six years. In addition, encounters with members of this list by the Office of Field Operations (OFO) also marked an all-time high after reaching 564 detainees at land ports of entry.

Statistics of detainees on the list of Terrorism suspects.

A new record of encounters with terrorism suspects at and between ports of entry

According to Customs and Border Protection statistics, the fiscal year that just ended saw the highest number of terrorism suspects apprehended trying to enter the country among ports of entry in a fiscal year. The 172 detainees represent not only a notable increase compared to the 98 in 2022, but also easily exceed the sum of those detained by this body in the six previous years (128).

Arrests of members of said list by the OFO also skyrocketed last year. Up to 564 terrorism suspects were intercepted trying to cross through the land ports of entry, a figure that far exceeds the 380 recorded last year (in fact, it is higher than the sum of those apprehended in 2021 and last year). Only the number of encounters in 2019 (538) comes close, although with a difference of almost 30 alleged suspects.

In this case, the encounters were much more common on the Northern Border (484) than on the Southern Border (80). Figures that have led governors of northern states, such as Chris Sununu in New Hampshire, to undertake measures on their part to protect their limits, such as the creation of a special body dedicated to these tasks. However, those apprehended between ports of entry by members of the Border Patrol are notably more common in the southern states (169 compared to 3 in the northern states).