(CNN) — A U.S. official says federal officials encountered about a dozen people on the terror watch list at the border with Mexico between October 2017 and October 2018.
Of those, roughly half were stopped from coming into the U.S. at legal ports of entry and half were apprehended while illegally crossing the border.
The number is a tiny percentage of the more than 3,700 suspected terrorists who tried to enter the US. during the 2017 fiscal year. That figure applies primarily to people who were blocked from coming to the U.S. after applying for visas or trying to fly into the country.
The state department said in 2016, “there are no known international terrorist organizations operating in Mexico.” However, the number of suspected terrorists crossing the Southern Border has risen from zero over the past couple years.
Officials are reportedly worried terrorists could try to exploit immigration patterns. It should be noted that inclusion on the list does not necessarily indicate the person could be prosecuted for a crime.