The Biden administration has put the country on a dangerous “pre-9/11” footing on terrorism, says one expert in the wake of the arrests of eight migrants with alleged ties to ISIS.

“The Biden Administration has done grave damage to information sharing among agencies, with state and local law enforcement, and enforcing travel and immigration consequences against foreign governments that refuse to share information with the U.S.,” Lora Ries, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center, told Fox News Digital.

The comments come after eight Tajikistan nationals were arrested in a joint operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force earlier this week. 

While the arrests occurred in New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, a federal source familiar with the sting told Fox News they had gained entry to the U.S. by crossing the southern border illegally.


The source told Fox News the suspected terrorists were “fully vetted” and that nothing was flagged when the eight suspects originally crossed the border, but derogatory information with national security concerns was later flagged, including the individual’s suspected ties to ISIS.

According to a report from the New York Post, at least one of the individuals arrested in the sting had been caught on wiretap discussing how to make a bomb.

“Remember the Boston marathon [bombing]? I’m afraid something like that might happen again or worse,” a source familiar with the arrests told the New York Post.

The illegal entry of the individuals and subsequent release into the country highlighted growing fears about the threat of terrorism emanating from the southern border. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., has been sounding the alarm about such a threat for months, even going so far as to point to Central Asia, where Tajikistan is located, as a potential origin for terrorist attempting to slip into the U.S. during a February press conference.


During those February remarks, Daines noted that a “high-level individual” warned him that over 50,000 Central Asians had crossed into the U.S. illegally in 2023, with the senator expressing concerns that some of those people could be “part of sleeper cells for a possible terror attack on our soil.”

Daines doubled down on those concerns after the latest arrests, telling Fox News Digital he hopes the news serves as a “wake-up call” to President Biden.

“I’ve been sounding the alarm for months that Joe Biden’s wide-open southern border is leaving our homeland wide open to potential terrorists,” Daines said. “This news is not surprising – but if it’s not a wake-up call to Biden and the Democrats, I don’t know what will be.”

Those concerns have also been echoed by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who warned the Senate Appropriations subcommittee last week about the threat of a coordinated attack in the U.S. similar to the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) attack at a Russian concert hall earlier this year.

Ries believes some of that wake-up call should be to encourage better information sharing among agencies when it comes to vetting individuals crossing the border, arguing that some individuals like those arrested this week are able to slip through the cracks.

“A person can cross the border with a clean background or be from a country that doesn’t share criminal and terrorism information with our government,” Ries said. “That person can then subsequently come under U.S. investigation and trigger terrorism concerns.”

 That type of information sharing has yet to happen, Ries said, noting that such issues were also flagged as a reason the 9/11 attacks went on undetected.

“The 9/11 Commission called out some of these very same issues as reasons that led to the 9/11 terror attacks,” Ries said. “Biden has returned the U.S. to a pre-9/11 posture.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

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