President Trump keeps talking about the threat from the U.S.-Mexico border, but he may be looking in the wrong direction, the Daily Beast reports. FBI reports say that far more suspected terrorists try to enter the U.S. from the northern border with Canada than from the south. Seven FBI Terrorist Screening Center “monthly domestic encounter reports” dating from April 2014 to August 2016 detail the number, type, and location of encounters with known or suspected terrorists across the nation. In all seven reports, the numbers of encounters at land border crossings were higher in northern states than southern. “Not to say that Mexico isn’t a problem, but the real bad guys aren’t coming from there—at least not yet,” said a senior Department of Homeland Security official.
This week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters he would not disclose evidence behind the president’s claims that jihadis are “pouring” into the country. “I’m not going to get into specific information that the president has,” he said. FBI reports obtained by the Daily Beast provide data on known or suspected terrorists attempting to enter the country, or who are already here. These reports show hundreds of watchlisted passengers encountered on domestic flights, meaning they are already in the U.S., and a smaller percentage crossing the border over land. Those encounters are reported back to the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center and used to compile the monthly domestic encounter overview reports, which are classified “Law Enforcement Sensitive.”