GOP House members demand answers about Quantico breach, terrorist threat

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(The Center Square) – Multiple members of Congress are demanding answers about the federal government’s ability to prevent a terrorist attack after two Jordanian nationals attempted to break into Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

This is after concerns were raised about a Chinese national who recently breached a Marine Corps base in the Yuma CBP Sector after illegally entering the country, and after individuals identified as known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) are continuing to be apprehended at record numbers after illegally entering the country, The Center Square reported.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, on Tuesday led a group of 12 Republican members of Congress demanding answers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation about the Quantico breach, questioning if it constituted a terrorist attack.

“A brazen attempt to infiltrate a military installation by foreign nationals from a terror-prone region rightly raises concerns as to whether this constituted a possible terrorist attack,” the House coalition said in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Yet, the federal government has not disclosed whether this breach was terror-related.”

On May 3, two Jordanian male nationals attempted to breach a Marine Corps base using a box truck. They were eventually detained and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It was later revealed that one illegally crossed the border last month and was released into the interior by Border Patrol agents. The other overstayed his student visa and was in the country illegally. One was identified as a KST.

“The American people deserve to know the scope of the threat posed by potential terror suspects, and the extent to which the open border policies of this administration are facilitating it,” the coalition said.

Joining Roy are Republican Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona, Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, Mary Miller of Illinois, Barry Moore of Alabama, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Andy Ogles of Tennessee, Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, and Randy Weber of Texas.

Last week, a coalition of 12 U.S. senators demanded answers, led by U.S. Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., of Mayorkas and Wray.

“This deeply concerning incident occurred mere weeks after a Chinese national who was in the country illegally broke into Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms on March 27,” they said.

House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., and three other Republican committee chairmen also demanded answers from Mayorkas, Wray and Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The committee is investigating the incident, they said, and is concerned about previous requests that remain unanswered.

In September 2023, Green and Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger, R-Texas, sent a letter to Mayorkas, Wray, and Austin requesting information about how the agencies were responding to possible breaches of U.S. military installations and critical infrastructure from the Chinese Communist Party. According to Wall Street Journal report, Chinese nationals attempted to access U.S. military bases and other sensitive sites roughly 100 times in recent years.

DHS and the FBI “failed to provide any substantive response” to their request, they said.

In a November 2023 hearing, Mayorkas “repeatedly refused to answer when asked by Chairman Pfluger whether DHS continuously detains those found to be on the terrorist watchlist,” they said.

The greatest number of KSTs have been apprehended by CBP and Border Patrol agents under the Biden administration, The Center Square has reported. This fiscal year, they total 277, after the greatest number in U.S. history was apprehended in fiscal 2023 of 736, The Center Square reported.

“The alarming conclusion from these numbers is every day we have individuals that are on the FBI terrorist watch list that could have an intention to harm our country and are entering every single day,” former Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan told The Center Square. “It’s not if or when the threat tries to come to our country. We already know that’s happening already. The threat is already here,” he said, referring to the at least two million foreign nationals who illegally entered the country and evaded capture, some of whom may be KSTs.

The attempted breach at MCB Quantico “reflects a possibly more dire reality for the state of U.S. national security,” Green’s coalition said.

DHS’s “relaxed vetting standards” have created “an environment ripe for exploitation by individuals aiming to undermine the United States at its most critical points. If individuals on the terrorist watchlist are so emboldened to attempt to breach a Marine Corps base, the Department of Homeland Security and the entire executive branch must act swiftly to identify, apprehend, and detain such hostile actors on American soil.”

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