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An undercover operation in several cities leads ICE and FBI authorities to capture 8 alleged terrorists linked to ISIS

The detainees are citizens of Tajikistan and are currently awaiting deportation.

El Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) de Estados Unidos muestra a oficiales de ICE

(AFP Photo / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

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A joint operation between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force resulted in the arrest of eight citizens of Tajikistan with ties to the Islamic State (ISIS).

The arrests were recently made in New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia as a result of an undercover operation that included wiretapping. During these wiretaps, one of the individuals mentioned the possibility of an attack similar to the Boston Marathon bombing or "something worse," as reported by the New York Post.

Illegal entry and release of immigrants

The eight people illegally crossed the southern border of the United States. Although they were initially arrested and examined by authorities, no negative information was found in their background checks, resulting in their release.

However, authorities later discovered data or evidence indicating that these individuals could be involved in activities that threatened national security. This new information prompted a more thorough investigation, which ultimately resulted in their arrest.

Awaiting deportation

According to a joint statement issued by the FBI and ICE and published by Fox News, the detainees are in ICE custody awaiting deportation proceedings.

Additionally, the statement stressed that the United States has been “in a heightened threat environment.” However, the authorities assured that they "will continue working around the clock with our partners to identify, investigate, and disrupt potential threats to national security."

Warnings from the FBI director

Chris Wray, director of the FBI, had previously warned of possible ISIS terrorist plots in the United States and the group's ability to take advantage of the vulnerability of the southern border.

In March, Wray testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the detection of a human smuggling ring with ties to ISIS. In addition, he highlighted the existence of a "wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border."

He later informed the House Appropriations Subcommittee that his "most immediate" concern came from individuals or small groups who could carry out attacks in the country.

"Now, increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, akin to the ISIS-K attack we saw at the Russia concert hall," he said, referring to the attack carried out by Tajikistan citizens that killed 145 people and injured a hundred more.