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Hamas fighters may enter U.S. via southern border, CBP field office warns

"Foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the US to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico," reads a document from the office.

Published: October 23, 2023 5:56pm

Updated: October 23, 2023 6:28pm

The San Diego field office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is warning that Hamas fighters or Hamas-inspired actors may attempt to enter the United States through the southern border.

The warning comes amid ongoing hostilities between Hamas and Israel in the wake of an Oct. 7 terrorist raid that saw Hamas seize 199 hostages and kill civilians. The Israel Defense Forces have since maintained a steady bombardment of the Gaza Strip in preparation for a possible ground invasion.

"San Diego Field Office Intelligence Unit (SDFO-FITU) assesses that individuals inspired by, or reacting to, the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border," reads an unclassified document from the office.

"Foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the US to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico," it continued.

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CBP Border warning
CBP Border warning
San Diego CBP office

The document further includes known symbols belonging to the Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups. It further identifies possible indicators of such actors. Those include military age males, single travelers, individuals with an undetermined plan to return, any associations with Israel or Palestine, and their possession of any military gear.

The document encourages law enforcement to inquire as to any individual's associations with military or security groups, as well as any familial links to major terror groups.

Concerns that the southern border may present an easy access point for hostile actors have abounded amid an ongoing surge in illegal crossings. At least 6 million people have illegally entered the country since President Joe Biden took office.

Appearing on the "Just the News, No Noise" television show on Monday, Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson excoriated the administration for recognizing the security threat posed by the porous border only after so many persons had entered illegally.

"Well, first of all, you have to realize in the, probably around 6 million people that have come to this country illegally and are staying, about 1.7 million of those individuals are what they call 'known gotaways,'" he said. "Now, we don't know who these people are. We just detected them, we counted them. And they're also in this country.

"You think that there might be a bad person or to a terrorist or two in that 1.7 million people? It's just actually gobsmacking to have the administration only now come out and realize, 'hey, we might have a problem here.' We've might have had a problem here for the entire Biden administration when they opened up the border," he concluded.

"I have worse news, actually," former Trump national security advisor Dr. Walid Phares said on the same program. "But reality is that Hamas, other jihadists, Hezbollah, the groups linked to the Iran regime, Ba'athists, have been crossing the border, not just for days or months, for years."

"Same way, as we have seen this operation taking place between Gaza and Israel. This was not an overnight operation – has been, you know, organized for months, maybe years," he continued. "Same goes here in our backyard crossing the Rio Grande has been a strategy. And a strategy that is not secret. I remember vividly on Al Jazeera when the spiritual head, who now has passed, of the Muslim Brotherhood, actually speaking about the necessity of militants, jihadi militants, to cross into the United States, and to become an arm that will change things inside the United States. So, this last report only adds to what we analysts have been saying for a while."

Earlier this month, former Trump Deputy National Security Advisor Victoria Coates warned that the Lebanon-based Hezbollah and other hostile actors had likely already infiltrated the U.S. and that the litany of pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the country signaled such a development.

"[W]e know Hezbollah has been active in Latin America; they've carried out attacks against Jewish targets in Argentina, for example," she said. "So they're here. And the notion that they haven't tried to cross the border in the last two and a half years, is pretty disingenuous."

"[W]e're watching all of these nasty little protests in solidarity with the Palestinians that have been happening, one happened in my home city of Philadelphia. One was in New York; there have been others," she added. "This is literally Palestinian supporters, showing us as the United States that they are here."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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CBP Hamas warning
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San Diego CBP office

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