Men from Tajikistan with potential ties to ISIS arrested in the United States

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New York. (11 June – 31)

US federal agents have arrested eight Tajikistan nationals in the US on terrorism charges. The arrests, carried out by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, spanned across Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia. These actions coincide with recent alerts from US intelligence officials about a terrorist plot. 

ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is designated as a terrorist organization by numerous countries and international organizations, including the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union.

The ability to surveillance certain foreign targets has been a subject of intense debate in Congress, particularly regarding the US intelligence community’s sweeping powers. Earlier this year, conservatives criticized these powers, leading to a two-year authorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, signed by President Joe Biden in April before the program lapsed.

All eight men crossed through the southern border into the U.S., and their criminal backgrounds checks came back clean when they crossed, say two officials familiar with the matter. 

In a release on Tuesday, ICE and the FBI stated that ICE agents had arrested several non-citizens in coordination with the FBI’s joint terrorism task forces. “The individuals arrested are detained in ICE custody pending removal proceedings,” the release reads. “As the FBI and DHS have recently described in public and partner bulletins, the US has been in a heightened threat environment.”

Investigators do not currently believe that the eight individuals received training abroad or were intentionally sent to the US to engage in violence, according to one source. Among those arrested, a small subset is believed to have expressed concerning extremist rhetoric, the source noted. It remains unclear whether the remaining individuals were arrested solely due to their association with those expressing extremist views.

ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is designated as a terrorist organization by numerous countries and international organizations, including the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union.