Arrests of eight ISIS-tied migrants should be wake-up call for Biden on border crisis, senator says

EXCLUSIVE: The senator who warned in February about the potential for terrorists to slip into the country across the southern border is continuing to sound the alarm, telling Fox News Digital he hopes the arrests of eight suspects with ties to ISIS serve as a wake-up call for President Biden.

“I’ve been sounding the alarm for months that Joe Biden’s wide-open southern border is leaving our homeland wide open to potential terrorists,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told Fox News Digital. “This news is not surprising – but if it’s not a wake-up call to Biden and the Democrats, I don’t know what will be.”

The comments come after a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting resulted in the arrests of eight Tajikistan nationals with ties to the Islamic State in recent days.


Sen. Steve Daines has expressed concerns about “sleeper cells for a possible terror attack on our soil.” (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

The arrests occurred in New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, but all eight suspects had originally crossed the U.S. southern border illegally, according to a federal source familiar with the sting.

But Daines had been raising concerns about such a possibility for months, specifically pointing to Central Asia as a potential origin for many of the threats. During a February press conference, Daines told reporters that a “high-level individual” warned the senator that over 50,000 Central Asians had crossed into the U.S. illegally in 2023. The Montana senator expressed concern then that such individuals could be “part of sleeper cells for a possible terror attack on our soil.”

That potential threat could have seemingly become reality, with the New York Post reporting that one of the eight arrested suspects was caught on a wiretap talking about making bombs.

President Biden speaks with Customs and Border Protection officers as he visits the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on Jan. 8, 2023. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)


“Remember the Boston marathon [bombing]? I’m afraid something like that might happen again or worse,” a source familiar with the arrests told the New York Post.

The arrests come after FBI Director Christopher Wray warned a Senate Appropriations subcommittee last week of his increasing concern about the possibility of a coordinated attack in the U.S. similar to the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) attack at a Russian concert hall in March.

A joint Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and FBI sting resulted in the arrests of eight Tajikistan nationals with ties to the Islamic State. (ICE)

The Montana Republican plans to echo that point at Wednesday’s 2 p.m. weekly leadership press conference, the first since news of the arrests were reported.

Daines also argued that such a threat is made more likely by the lack of security at the border.

“The pattern is clear and there is not a bigger national security threat facing our nation than Biden’s southern border crisis,” Daines said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Get the latest updates on the ongoing border crisis from the Fox News Digital immigration hub.

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