More info out about 8 Tajikistani men arrested in U.S. for suspected ISIS ties

More information has emerged about eight Tajikistani men arrested earlier this month by federal law enforcement for suspected ties to ISIS.

Federal law enforcement had acquired intelligence information indicating the eight men were inside the U.S. and had possible ties to ISIS, according to two sources familiar with the information. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force opened an investigation into the men, and investigators monitored their communications, the sources said, including following their activities on social media like chat rooms and encrypted sites, according to one of the sources. 

The FBI discovered that the individuals were in contact with bad actors with potential ties to ISIS. Investigators obtained a court-authorized FISA warrant and conducted surveillance. Officials were concerned that the men could have been plotting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the sources said. 

The FBI, working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, arrested the eight men on immigration charges in recent weeks in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

The investigation is ongoing and at this point, the men are not facing terrorism-related charges. 

The sources said there was no evidence to suggest that a specific targeted attack was planned. U.S. officials said there is no imminent threat to the homeland.

The Justice Department declined to comment, and the FBI declined to comment beyond what it said when the arrests were made.

At the time, the bureau said, the FBI and DHS said in a statement that, “The arrests were carried out in close coordination with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces,” adding that the individuals who were arrested were in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.  

“As the FBI and DHS have recently described in public and partner bulletins, the U.S. has been in a heightened threat environment,” the statement went on to say. “The FBI and DHS will continue working around the clock with our partners to identify, investigate, and disrupt potential threats to national security.”

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