Eight people from Tajikistan suspected of having ties to ISIS arrested in Los Angeles and other cities, sources tell ABC News

LOS ANGELES (KABC)– Eight people suspected of having ties to ISIS were arrested after an investigation was conducted in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York, according to ABC News sources.

The suspects are believed to be from Tajikistan and crossed the southern border into the United States in 2023.

ABC News has learned that the suspects were initially allowed to enter the United States after being screened and no national security concerns were found.

But sources say that in recent weeks, authorities have uncovered information indicating ties or affiliation with ISIS-K.

Tajikistan has been described as a recruitment hotbed for the terrorist organization.

And experts say the terrorist threat has increased.

“The threat level is the highest it’s ever been, I think,” said retired FBI agent Bobby Chacon. “We’ve heard this from the attorney general and the FBI director in recent congressional testimony. It keeps them up at night.”

ICE agents made the arrests in recent days.

Further details about the investigation were not immediately available.

Efforts are underway to deport the suspects. No terrorism charges have been filed.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security released this statement:

“Over the past several days, ICE agents have arrested several non-citizens pursuing immigration authorities. These actions were carried out in close coordination with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The individuals arrested are being held by ICE pending deportation proceedings. As the FBI and DHS have recently described in public and partner bulletins that the United States is in a heightened threat environment. DHS will continue to work around the clock with partners to identify, investigate, and thwart potential threats to national security.

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