Six Alleged ISIS Operatives Arrested in Major U.S. Cities, Spark Terror Fears

The suspects had crossed the southern border, and initial vetting did not reveal any negative information

Six Russian nationals suspected of having ties to ISIS were arrested in a coordinated operation across Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia. The arrests, confirmed by two ICE sources, were made after the FBI alerted the agency about the individuals, all originally from Tajikistan.

The FBI, working with a multi-agency Joint Terrorism Task Force, had been monitoring the suspects for several months. During the investigation, wiretaps revealed one suspect discussing bombs, raising fears of an attack similar to the Boston Marathon bombing. "I'm afraid something like that might happen again or worse," a source told The Post.

six suspected terrorists arrested

One of the suspects had previously been released by federal authorities at the southern border with a court date scheduled for next year. It later emerged that this individual had potential ties to ISIS. The Department of Homeland Security and FBI stated, "ICE agents arrested several non-citizens in close coordination with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces. These individuals are now in ICE custody pending removal proceedings."

The suspects had crossed the southern border, and initial vetting did not reveal any negative information. At least two of the men entered the U.S. in spring 2023, with one using the CBP One app, according to sources.

These arrests follow warnings from FBI Director Chris Wray about potential ISIS terror plots on U.S. soil and the group's potential to exploit the southern border. In April, Wray warned lawmakers about a possible "coordinated attack" in the U.S., similar to an ISIS-K attack on a concert hall in Moscow that killed 145 people.

Wray expressed concerns about individuals drawing inspiration from Middle East events to carry out attacks in the U.S. He also highlighted a specific network where overseas facilitators of a smuggling operation had ISIS ties, under ongoing investigation.

The arrests come amid increasing numbers of migrants with suspected terror ties crossing the southern border. Federal data shows a sharp increase in such cases, from 11 between 2017 and 2020 to 362 between 2021 and April 2024.

The Biden administration recently implemented a new border policy to curb illegal crossings, aiming to reduce the number of illegal crossers to below 1,500 per day. Despite this, migrants continue to enter, with San Diego being the busiest crossing point. Over the weekend, Border Patrol agents recorded approximately 10,000 illegal crossings at the southern border.