Terror Suspect Migrant Allowed to Wander in America

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – A new report shows that a migrant on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist, Mohammad Kharwin, 48, was released into the U.S. by an immigration judge after he was apprehended by Customs and Border Protection agents crossing the southern border.

In March 2023, Kharwin, a member of the U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group known as HIG, or Hezb-e-Islami, was apprehended by Customs and Border Protection agents while crossing the border near San Ysidro, California.

After Border Patrol agents couldn’t definitively determine Kharwin was on the terror watchlist, an immigration judge freed him under “Alternatives to Detention,” an Immigration and Customs Enforcement program, which generally requires migrants to submit to GPS tracking or use a smartphone app to report their whereabouts.

Nearly one year later, the FBI told ICE that Kharwin was a suspected member of HIG, a terrorist group operating out of parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to the National Counterterrorism Center, several American contractors and U.S. soldiers were killed by HIG.

While Kharwin was arrested on Feb. 28 by ICE in San Antonio, Texas, he was released by a Texas immigration judge when ICE prosecutors did not disclose Kharwin’s suspected ties to HIG because the information that linked him to the group was classified, according to U.S. officials. On March 30, instead of ordering Kharwin to be detained or deported, the judge freed Kharwin without any restrictions on his movements inside the U.S. after Kharwin posted a $12,000 bond. The judge required Kharwin to appear before the court again for a hearing in 2025. The ruling was not appealed by ICE.

On April 12, a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said Kharwin was back in custody after being re-arrested on April 11. In a statement, the spokesperson said that when Kharwin was originally arrested, “the record could not have provided a conclusive match,” adding that he was re-arrested once information was available that showed Kharwin was an individual “of concern.”

In 2023, the number of migrants with suspected terrorism ties encountered by Border Patrol was 172, with 70 encounters so far during the current fiscal year.

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