Afghan migrant on terrorist watch list released by Border Patrol: report

Mohammad Kharwin, 48, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Thursday.
Border Patrol

An Afghan migrant on the FBI terrorist watch list spent almost a year in the U.S. after being apprehended and released by border patrol agents, according to news reports. 

He was arrested in February, then released last month again by an immigration judge who was not told he was a national security threat, according to NBC News.

The migrant, Mohammad Kharwin, 48, was first  apprehended in March 2023, near San Ysidro, California, after having illegally crossed the Mexico-U.S. border.

Kharwin was arrested Thursday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. 

It was unclear Friday whether he has been detained. 

Kharwin has been waiting for his immigration hearing in Texas that is set to happen next year. Prior to his recent arrest, there were no restrictions on where he could go in the U.S.

The FBI alleges that he is part of the Hezb-e-Islami, or HIG, which is designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. government. 

HIG is described as a “virulently anti-Western insurgent group” that attempted to overthrow the Afghan government prior to 2021.

In his initial apprehension, border agents suspected he was on the watchlist because one piece of information matched a person on the list, also according to NBC News.

But the agents reportedly lacked corroborating information that would confirm Kharwin was the person they suspected, U.S. officials said. 

After CBP processed Kharwin and took his biometric data, the agency reportedly released him as it would any other migrant, without alerting Immigration and Customs Enforcement about possible terrorism ties, U.S. officials said.