House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is calling for a classified briefing from the FBI and CIA after two men on the FBI’s Terrorism Watch List reportedly were caught at the U.S. southern border.
His request came in a Tuesday letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director William Burns.
McCarthy said Vice President Kamala Harris also should be included in the briefing.
“Through conversations with the Border Patrol and media reports, I have learned of the apprehension of foreign nationals on Terrorism Watch List who were attempting to illegally cross our southern border,” he said. “This highlights the ongoing national security risk posed by the border crisis. When scheduled, I would request Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, Leader [Mitch] McConnell, and Leader [Chuck] Schumer attend as well.
“I would also like to extend an invitation to Vice President Harris to join us for this briefing. On March 24, the vice president was appointed by the president to lead the government’s efforts on the border crisis and I hope she along with congressional leaders, could benefit from this briefing.
“Last month, I along with 12 other members of Congress, traveled to El Paso, Texas, to see firsthand the humanitarian and security crisis that has emerged along our southern border this year.”
McCarthy said Border Patrol Agents provided briefings, and revealed they had “apprehended individuals from not only Mexico and Central America but countries including China, Iran, Yemen and Turkey.”
McCarthy noted the threat has grown since his visit.
“Just yesterday, in a now-deleted, publicly released statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the arrests of two Yemeni individuals caught illegally crossing the border. … Like the cases we were briefed on in El Paso, these suspects were on the Terrorism Watch List.
“We simply have no way of knowing if other terrorists have crossed the border undetected.”
In an interview with Fox News, McCarthy reiterated his call for Harris to attend a CIA-FBI briefing.
“I know she hasn’t been to the border,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know if she’s ever been briefed on this, but I think it’d be important that all the leaders, because this isn’t about Republican or Democrat, this is about the security of our nation. And everybody should be making sure our nation is secure.”
And he noted: “So we know people on the terrorist watch list are coming into America. How are they coming in? How many do we assume got through that we did not catch? Why were they on the watch list? What were they doing coming into the country? Do we have any intel based upon what did they have planned once they entered into the country? Who were they going to meet up with?
“Any terrorists that come into this country is too much and it should not be a partisan issue.”
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