Former FBI officials sent a letter to Congressional leaders earlier this month warning the surge in “military aged men from across the globe” entering the U.S. through the southern border has severely weakened national security and put the country at risk of a terrorist attack.
The letter, shared by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on X Thursday, was addressed to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and the Chairs of the House and Senate Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees .
“As former senior executives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with deep experience combatting dangers to the nation, we write to express our concern about a current, specific threat that may be one of the most pernicious ever to menace the United States,” the ten retired FBI officials wrote.
The “new and unfamiliar” threat facing the U.S., according to the former intelligence officials, is the “invasion” of the country by migrants from hostile nations pouring over inadequately protected borders.
“In its modern history the U.S. has never suffered an invasion of the homeland and, yet, one is unfolding now,” the letter reads. “Military aged men from across the globe, many from countries or regions not friendly to the United States, are landing waves on our soil by the thousands — not by splashing ashore from a ship or parachuting from a plane but rather by foot across a border that has been accurately advertised around the world as largely unprotected with ready access granted.”
Since the start of the Biden administration in 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported nearly eight million migrant encounters, with 3.2 million in Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) alone.
The number of total enforcement actions has increased dramatically every year under President Joe Biden.
“It would be difficult to overstate the danger represented by the presence inside our borders of what is comparatively a multi-division army of young single adult males from hostile nations and regions whose background, intent, or allegiance is completely unknown,” the former FBI officials continued, pointing to the “shockingly high” estimate of the number of “gotaways” at the border.
“Gotaways” refer to migrants who have illegally entered the U.S. but who avoided apprehension by Border Patrol agents.
According to the House Committee on Homeland Security, there have been 1.7 million known gotaways since President Biden took office.
CBP reported that Border Patrol encountered 172 non-citizen migrants on the Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS or “watchlist”) between ports of entry in FY23, primarily at the southwest U.S.-Mexico border.
Comparatively, under the Trump administration (from FY17 to FY20), just 14 non-citizens on the terrorist watchlist were encountered by Border Patrol.
“In light of such a daunting, unprecedented penetration by uninvited foreign actors, it is reasonable to assert that the country possesses dramatically diminished national security at this time,” the ex-intel officials wrote. “The nation’s military and laws and other natural protective barriers that have provided traditional security in the past have been thoroughly circumvented over the past three years.”
The former FBI officials point to the high number of migrants on the terrorist watchlist breaching the border as “particularly alarming in light of the Hamas terror attack on Israel last October 7.”
“Those of us who have fought terrorism know that, historically, successful terror attacks invite mimicry,” they wrote. “We know, as well, that terror leaders intentionally cultivate throngs of young men possessing a certain easily-manipulated personality type to carry out atrocities.”
“It is stark to say so, but having a large number of young males now within our border who could begin attacking gatherings of unarmed citizens, in imitation of 10/7 and at the behest of a foreign terror group, must be considered a distinct possibility,” they continued. “We would be remiss not to call out this potentially grave threat in the most direct terms. The warning lights are blinking.”
According to the former FBI officials, the surge in young male migrants crossing the unsecured border may represent a “soft invasion, designed to gain internal access to a country that cannot be invaded militarily in order to inflict catastrophic damage if and when enemies deem it necessary.”
The letter closes by urging the Congressional leaders to pay greater attention to border security in coordination with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the rest of the intelligence community.
“The country has been invaded, an invasion that will continue as long as the nation’s enemies perceive it will be tolerated,” they wrote. “Until it is stopped, the United States is extraordinarily less safe and secure.”
The ten retired FBI officials who signed the letter are: Kevin Brock, former assistant director of intelligence and former principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center; Chris Swecker, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; Timothy Healy, former director of the Terrorist Screening Center; Ruben Garcia, Jr., former executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch; Mark Morgan, former assistant director for training at the FBI, former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and former U.S. Border Patrol chief; David Szady, former assistant director of counterintelligence; Jody Weiss, former special agent in charge in Philadelphia; David Mitchell, former special agent in charge in Milwaukee; William Gavin, former assistant director of the FBI’s Inspection Division and Timothy McNally, former assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles division.