8 suspected terrorists with possible ISIS ties arrested in New York, L.A. and Philadelphia, sources say

Eight men from Tajikistan with potential ties to ISIS out of central Asia were arrested over the weekend in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, three people familiar with the matter told NBC News on Tuesday.

The suspects had been on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force radar and were arrested by personnel with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, the sources say.

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.

At least two of the men crossed the border in spring 2023, and one of those men used the CBP One app, which the Biden administration created to allow migrants to book appointments to claim asylum, those officials say.

The arrests were first reported by the New York Post.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has been aware of a potential terrorist threat originating in central Europe, and it began monitoring these men as part of that investigation, three sources say.

A senior U.S. official says the FBI was monitoring the group for several months and kept close tabs on their activities.

While they have not been charged with a terrorist connection or plot yet, the FBI alerted ICE they should be arrested because of potential ties to ISIS, and they were arrested on immigration charges, two sources say. They are detained and face removal proceedings before an immigration judge, and they could later face terrorism-related charges, two sources say.

“Over the last few days, ICE agents arrested several non-citizens pursuant to immigration authorities," the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI said in a joint statement Tuesday. "The actions were carried out in close coordination with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The individuals arrested are detained in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.”

As NBC News previously reported, in April ICE arrested an Uzbek man in Baltimore with alleged ISIS ties after he had been living in the U.S. for over two years.

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