ICE Removed Terror Suspect From Tracking Just Weeks After Entering Country

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed an Afghan terror suspect on the FBI terror watch list from tracking after illegally entering the country just weeks prior, the Daily Caller has learned.

NBC News first reported on the agency removing Mohammad Kharwin from tracking. The Daily Caller has independently verified this information.

NBC first reported that the Afghan national has spent almost a year in the U.S. after he was caught and released by Border Patrol at the California border in March 2023. Kharwin is reportedly a member of Hezb-e-Islami, a U.S. designated terrorist group responsible for the deaths of at least nine American soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan.

Senior DHS officials also told Fox News that Kharwin was not on the terror watch list when he was arrested at the border last year, and that when Border Patrol didn’t release him, he was referred to ICE and then the agency placed him on the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), which is an alternatives to a detention program that uses mobile GPS tracking technologies. However, he was not on ISAP when arrested in February and was instead roaming free without a tracking device for nearly a year, a source told the Daily Caller. It is unclear why Kharwin was not initially detained by ICE, just as it is unclear why ICE decided to terminate him from electronic tracking after only two weeks.

In an aerial view, immigrants pass through coils of razor wire while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on March 13, 2024 in El Paso, Texas. The wire was placed by the troops as part of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star” to deter migrants from crossing into Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

According to sources familiar with the case, Kharwin was only on ISAP from March 12, 2023 to March 28, 2023 and was not assigned to report to an ISAP office. When his enrollment in ISAP was terminated by ICE on March 28, he was released onto the unsupervised non-detained docket of illegal aliens, which is filled with around 7 million migrants many whose whereabouts are unknown, the Daily Caller has learned. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Matt Gaetz Introduces Bill To Protect States’ Right To Defend Southern Border)

Eleven months later and after ICE terminated him from ISAP GPS monitoring, in February 2024, Kharwin was officially added to the FBI terror watch list after new “concerning” information developed on him. ICE was notified, and then the agency arrested him in San Antonio, NBC first reported. He was reportedly held in ICE detention until his court hearing two weeks ago, when a federal immigration judge ordered he be released on bond, despite ICE prosecutors arguing he’s a flight risk.

“Allowing a member of a terrorist group responsible for killing Americans in Afghanistan to freely roam our country at ICE’s discretion is indefensible. How many similar instances remain unknown? When we find out, it may be too late,” RJ Hauman, President of the National Immigration Center for Enforcement (NICE) and a visiting adviser at The Heritage Foundation, told the Caller. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Gallagher Introduces Legislation To Force Biden Administration To Finish Building Border Wall, Pay For It)

“To learn from this, the Biden Administration must pivot to using all available detention beds provided by Congress, and, if an illegal alien is on ATD, they must be tracked for the entire duration of their removal proceedings—including appeals,” he added.

He was then released on bond for a brief period. He has not been placed back on ISAP but is now back in federal custody.

The Daily Caller contacted ICE about Kharwin, to which they did not immediately respond.