Iranian On Terror Watch List Caught At Border Smuggled In Trunk. FBI Declines Comment.
Operation Lone Star
John Moore/Getty Images

An Iranian illegal immigrant whose name is listed on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) was caught and arrested at the southern border where he was found smuggled in the trunk of a vehicle.

Alireza Heidari, 29, was arrested last week in Val Verde, Texas, as part of the state’s Operation Lone Star run by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS); four other illegal immigrants accompanied him in the car, Fox News reported.

Fox News reported they contacted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) last Thursday and repeatedly after that, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that DHS referred them to the FBI. Fox News reported that the FBI declined to comment.

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd lauded the Texas DPS, pointing out they made the arrest, not the United States Border Patrol, declaring, “If not for the work of Governor Abbott and Texas DPS, Alireza Heidari would be at large on our streets today and looking to do harm to the US and our fellow citizens. Heidari entered the country illegally and evaded apprehension by the Border Patrol. It fell to Texas DPS to do our job because Biden continues to play politics with the safety and security of our children, friends and neighbors. What Biden is doing is dangerous and the capture of Heidari by a non-federal law enforcement agency is the most recent proof.”

In fiscal year 2022, 98 terror watch list arrests were made, caught between ports of entry, as opposed to 15 in fiscal year 2021 and three in fiscal year 2020. Seventeen terror watch list arrests were made in December.

Between last October 1 and January 23, according to U.S. Customs and Protection, 38 people who were either known terrorists, suspected terrorists, or associates of them were stopped at the border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has admitted that roughly 1.2 million “gotaways” — illegal immigrants who were detected but not apprehended, have made it into the U.S. since President Joe Biden was inaugurated.

“While the Biden administration feebly attempts to deflect blame for the unmitigated crisis at our Southwest border, feuding cartels are turning the U.S.-Mexico border into a warzone, an unprecedented number of people on the terrorist watchlists are attempting to cross the border, and all semblance of law and order has been lost,” the House Committee on Homeland Security wrote on January 23. “President Biden’s dangerous and reckless policies are responsible for CBP logging the highest number of migrant encounters for one month on record in December 2022.”

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