The White House on Tuesday insisted there is “no sign” that an Islamic State (ISIS) sympathizer’s smuggling ring brought terrorists into the United States.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre “how it is possible” that the terrorist sympathizer is sneaking people across the southern border into the U.S.
“Intelligence alerted us to a human smuggling network,” Jean-Pierre said after a thinly-veiled shot at Fox. “We moved fast and successfully to disrupt it.”
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Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre “how it is possible” that the terrorist sympathizer is sneaking people across the southern border into the U.S. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
“So I just want to be very clear on that,” Jean-Pierre added. Doocy fired back quickly, asking the press secretary if the administration knows “where all of the people this ISIS sympathizers snuck into the country are.”
Jean-Pierre repeated her prior points, saying the administration “moved fastly” and is “grateful” to law enforcement’s “quick work and their vigilance on this.”
“Now, to your other part of the question: smugglers have been detained overseas, including one linked to the foreign terrorist organization,” Jean-Pierre said.
“There’s no sign that anyone moved by the smuggling network has terrorism connections,” she continued. “So we want to be clear there as well.”
The Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, was formally defeated in Syria in 2019. Mirsad Kandic, 41, who spread the terror group’s propaganda and fought alongside its members has been sentenced to life in prison. (History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
“And what we were able to do as [a] precaution, people brought here by [the] smuggling network are being subject to extra vetting and are all in removal proceedings. And in addition to that, in addition to that, anyone coming across the border outside of the network who matches the profile of those in the smuggling network is subject to extra vetting, detained, and put in expedited removal proceedings as well.”
Doocy’s question comes after a new report that a smuggler with ties to the Islamic terrorist organization helped to bring migrants from Mexico to the U.S.
Multiple U.S. officials said that the FBI is scrambling to investigate over a dozen Uzbek nationals granted asylum to America via the U.S.-Mexico border.
FBI officials are working to “identify and assess” the individuals granted asylum while the agency says there is no specific ISIS plot that has been uncovered.
FBI officials are working to “identify and assess” the individuals granted asylum while the agency says there is no specific ISIS plot that has been uncovered. (Getty Images)
Two U.S. officials are looking closely at a number of the migrants for potential criminal threats.
Additionally, the White House on Tuesday appeared to formally acknowledge that the government believes Wagner group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was assassinated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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The warlord, who led a short-lived rebellion against Russia’s military, died along with several members of the Wagner Group’s top brass. Prigozhin’s second in command, Dmitry Utkin, and Wagner’s non-military logistics chief, Valery Chekalov, were also aboard.
“It seems pretty evident what happened here,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday, referring to President Biden’s earlier remarks on Prigozhin’s death.
“There’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin is not behind,” Biden said last week after Prigozhin was reported killed in a private plane crash.
Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo contributed reporting.