Suspected ISIS Member Arrested After Living In U.S. For Over Two years

An alleged member of the ISIS terrorist organization has been arrested in Baltimore by federal law enforcement officials. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 33-year-old Jovokhir Attoev from Uzbekistan has been living in the U.S. for the past two years while applying for asylum.

Officials say that Attoev crossed the border in Arizona in early 2022. When he was apprehended by Border Patrol, he claimed he was seeking asylum.

Officials released him into the U.S. with a court date, as they said they could not find any “derogatory information” on him and he was not on the “terror watchlist.”

It was more than two years later that officials found that Attoev was wanted in Uzbekistan for his ties to ISIS.

Uzbekistan had reportedly put out an international notice in May 2023 that Attoev was wanted for an alleged affiliation with the terrorist group. However, the U.S. government did not see the notice until March 2024 when they were reviewing Attoev’s asylum application.

Having been picked up two weeks ago, Attoev now awaits trial in immigration court where the U.S. government will argue to keep him locked up rather than deport him so as to learn more about his ties to terrorism.

Speaking to NBC News, several publications said that the case made a perfect example of the danger in the U.S. immigration and asylum system.

“We are in the midst of a really volatile threat environment,” former Homeland Security officials said, adding, “Anytime I see a gap in the system, like we are seeing in this case, I do have concerns. Anything you have just a massive volume of people, like we do, our systems are overwhelmed and we need more resources at the southern border to properly protect the homeland.

There are other cases like Attoev’s, the most recent being that of Mohammad Kharwin, a 48-year-old terrorist, who illegally entered the U.S. through the southern border.

Despite being a member of Hezb-e-Islami, or HIG, a terrorist organization that the National Counterterrorism Center has described as a “virulently anti-Western insurgent group,” Kharwin roamed around the United States freely for a year before ICE finally arrested him last month.