FBI Director Christopher Wray admits concerns over 'ISIS ties' to human smuggling at border

“Some of the overseas facilitators of the smuggling network have ISIS ties that we’re very concerned about.”


In a hearing on Monday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the FBI has "concerns" over ISIS ties to "overseas facilitators" of a smuggling network operating at the US border.  

During Monday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, the FBI director was asked by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) about the potential for there being links to terrorism at the southern border.  

When asked by Rubio, "Are we aware of any of these smuggling organizations are run by ... or conducted by people that have ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations?" 

Wray answered in the affirmative, "From an FBI perspective, we are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border." 

"There is a particular network ... where some of the overseas facilitators of the smuggling network have ISIS ties that we’re very concerned about," he added.  

Wray said that the FBI has been investigating the matter but could not go into further details in an open hearing.  

According to an annual report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the US is "facing a fragile world order" as a result of "accelerating strategic competition with major authoritarian powers" that wish to undermine order around the world. 

The terrorist organizations al-Qaeda and ISIS have been emboldened and “inspired by the HAMAS attack against Israel” and “have directed their supporters to conduct attacks against Israeli and US interests,” according to the report.  

The report heavily addressed immigration, and stated, "The Western Hemisphere most likely will continue to sustain high levels of intra-regional migrant flows driven by poor socioeconomic conditions and insecurity as well as pull factors that include economic opportunity, family reunification, and perceptions of immigration policies in recipient or transit countries." 

Under the "transnational issues" section of the report, "Several clear and direct challenges are the rapid development of technologies, the spread of repression beyond physical borders, the threats posed by transnational organized crime and terrorism, and the societal effects of international migration." 

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