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FBI Director Confirms “Dangerous Threats That Emanate From Border”

Mar 11, 2024 | Press Releases

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray confirmed the FBI is seeing a wide array of national security threats coming from the border.

These comments followed a line of questioning directed at Wray by Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the annual Worldwide Threats Assessment hearing.

Click here for video and read a transcript below:

RUBIO: Director Wray, we know that over the last three years, millions of people have crossed the U.S. border illegally, and many have been released into the country. Have people with ties to dangerous gangs – like, for example, the prison gang Tren de Aragua from Venezuela – were they among the people that came into this country?

WRAY: I don’t know that I can speak to the specific gang, but certainly we’ve had dangerous individuals enter the United States of a variety of sorts.

RUBIO: Are we seeing crimes from people that entered the country over the last three years, some of them with ties to gangs or other criminal organizations?

WRAY: I would say this from an FBI perspective: we are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border, and that includes drug trafficking. The FBI alone seized enough fentanyl in the last two years to kill 270 million people. That’s just on the fentanyl side. An awful lot of the violent crime in the United States is at the hands of gangs, who are themselves involved in the distribution of that fentanyl.

RUBIO: But we’re also seeing local law enforcement tracking [members of Tren de Aragua in particular]. For example, the assault on the police officers in New York – all the reporting said they had ties to this gang in particular. There’s no doubt that people that were criminals in their country of origin have crossed that border and are now in the U.S. committing crimes. 

WRAY: Correct. 

RUBIO: Is there now a black market emerging to sell fake Social Security cards, fake green cards. Have you seen reporting on that?

WRAY: On the darknet, for example, there is a significant marketplace for different kinds of stolen identities. 

RUBIO: What about in the street?

WRAY: I think [so].

RUBIO: There are smuggling networks all over the world that specialize in moving people from all over the world, including from the Middle East, Central Asia, and so forth. Are we aware that any of these smuggling organizations are run or conducted by people that have ties, for example, to ISIS or other terrorist organizations?

WRAY: I want to be a little bit careful about how far I can go in an open session. But there is a particular network where some of the overseas facilitators of the smuggling network have ISIS ties that we’re very concerned about, and that we’ve been spending an enormous amount of effort with our partners to investigate. Exactly what that network is up to is something that is, again, the subject of our current investigation.

RUBIO: There is a network we’re concerned about that has facilitators involved in it that have ties to ISIS and other terrorist organizations. 

WRAY: Correct.