Several people with alleged Islamic State ties arrested on immigration violations

Eight people with suspected ties to the Islamic State have been arrested in the United States.

The arrests took place in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and the individuals entered the country through the southern border, anonymous sources told The Associated Press.

Their connections to the Islamic State group were not immediately clear, but the individuals were being tracked by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was working with the task force and made the arrests and is working to remove the individuals from the country.

The individuals were from Tajikistan and passed through the U.S. government’s screening process after entering the country last spring, the AP reported.

The AP noted that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a statement confirming the arrests of “several non-citizens” and said the U.S. has been in a “heightened threat environment.”

CBS News reported that there was no active terror plot but the information was of concern. At the time of their entry, the individuals were vetted by law enforcement and there was no indication they had ties to ISIS.

The individuals crossed the border without proper documents and were released into the U.S. with notices to appear in immigration court. Law enforcement then became concerned with their presence and took action.

They are now in detention and face deportation proceedings, but an official told CBS News that it’s difficult to deport people to Tajikistan due to operational and diplomatic reasons.

The arrests were first reported by the New York Post.

The FBI task force has been made aware of a potential terrorist threat originating in central Europe and began watching the individuals as part of that investigation, NBC News reported.

In April, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the U.S. is facing more threats from violent extremists, particularly in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. He said officials are concerned about terrorism implications by people “targeting” vulnerabilities at the southern border.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.