Former Biden Official: Release of Terror Watch List Member ‘Very, Very Rare’

During an appearance on “NBC Nightly News” to discuss the news that Border Patrol had released a known terrorist into the interior of the United States, a former official with President Joe Biden’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tried to downplay the problem by arguing that it was “very, very rare.”

In March 2023, 48-year-old Mohammad Kharwin illegally crossed the southern border and was apprehended in San Ysidro, California. Border Patrol agents documented his biometric data and released him into the U.S. without notifying ICE, despite having concerns that he may be on the terror watchlist. According to NBC News, Kharwin was also “arrested last month and released again by a judge who was not told he was a national security threat.”

He was finally arrested on Thursday by ICE after the federal government discovered that he was allegedly a member of Hezb-e-Islami, or HIG, a group designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

In the Thursday interview with NBC News, former ICE chief of staff Jason Houser was asked about the Biden administration’s failure to protect Americans from the known terrorist that they allowed into the country.

NBC News Homeland Security correspondent Julia Ainsley noted that this shocking case “appears to be just one of at least three incidents in the past two years involving suspected terrorists being released by Customs and Border Protection, according to the DHS inspector general and Congress.”

Houser acknowledged that “any terrorist or terrorist-linked individual trying to come into this country is unacceptable” — but still tried to downplay the situation despite the clear threat to the American people posed by even one terrorist being allowed into the country.

“This is very, very rare,” he claimed. “There’s a large capacity and capability for both Border Patrol, ICE, federal law enforcement, and the interagency to identify and vet these individuals as they come to the border.”

Meanwhile, the data shows that this supposed “rare” instance probably happens a lot more than Houser claims.

Five months into fiscal year 2024, there have already been at least 69 individuals apprehended at the southern border whose names were on the terror watchlist. This is nearly three times as many as the total number of individuals on the terror watchlist apprehended in fiscal years 2017-2021 combined. Obviously, with Biden’s open borders policies and his refusal to enforce existing immigration laws, this data likely means that many more terrorists were able to successfully enter the country without being apprehended.