President Biden’s acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Patrick Lechleitner, admitted that a terrorist was allowed to roam freely in the U.S. for nearly a year after crossing into the country illegally at the border.
At a briefing on Thursday, Lechleitner said the terrorist was arrested within 48 hours, only after ICE “became aware.”
Lechleitner confirmed a report by The Daily Caller that federal authorities caught a terrorist illegally crossing into the U.S. via the southern border in March 2023.
However, the terrorist was then released into the U.S. due to a “mismatch” after his name was run through the terror watch list, The Daily Caller reported.
The unnamed terrorist was a member of al-Shabab and was captured last month in Minneapolis, according to the outlet.
When questioned by Jennie Taer of The Daily Caller about how many other terrorists have been apprehended in the interior after coming through the border, Lechleitner refused to answer her question.
Instead, he addressed the capture of the al-Shabab terrorist.
“I want to commend our personnel because as soon as we became aware of that — within 48 hours — he was apprehended, and he’s currently in ICE custody,” Lechleitner said. “I think that’s an incredible result — a testament to how professional, quite honestly, how capable our personnel are.”
According to the U.S. State Department, al-Shabab is al Qaeda’s largest, wealthiest and most deadly affiliate. The group has murdered thousands of people in Somalia and the region, including Americans.
Fox News Digital has reached out to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for more information.