Officials Believe an ISIS Fighter Illegally Entered and Lurked in the U.S. for 2 Years

( – The Islamic State (ISIS) is a terrorist organization that emerged from al Qaeda about 10 years ago. The group is active in Iraq and Syria with the intent of creating a caliphate (a chief Muslim ruler) and imposing Islamic rule as far as possible. ISIS is known for its brutality. Recently, a possible member of ISIS was captured in the United States.

On April 17, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 33-year-old Jovokhir Attoev in Baltimore, Maryland. Originally from Uzbekistan, authorities believe he has ties to ISIS that weren’t discovered when he first arrived in Arizona in the winter of 2022. Attoev reportedly crossed the border in February of that year and was apprehended by Border Patrol (BP). However, ICE and BP couldn’t find anything concerning about the migrant at the time and released him into the US pending a court hearing for asylum.

A little over a year later, Uzbekistan sent out a notice stating that Attoev was wanted for his alleged ties to ISIS. That information from March 2023 wasn’t discovered by the federal government until March 2024, when his asylum application was being reviewed. Once officials noticed the international alert, ICE found him in Maryland and arrested him. He is now in custody in Pennsylvania, awaiting his upcoming immigration court hearing in New Jersey. ICE lawyers will likely ask the court to order a remand until authorities can investigate his possible ISIS ties.

Former Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention at the Department of Homeland Security Elizabeth Neumann said her biggest concern was about the decrease in counterterrorism budgets over the last 10 years or so. She said less funds mean fewer analysts, making it “harder to do things in a really timely manner.”

Multiple members of law enforcement stressed to NBC News that there has been no definite connection between Attoev and ISIS or if he ever did anything on the group’s behalf. The matter is still under investigation.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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