Photo Credit: © Tomas Castelazo, / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Incoming illegal migrant crossing from Mexico into the United States at the Tijuana-San Diego border, 2007

An operative from Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization was caught earlier this month attempting to infiltrate into the United States through America’s southern border.

The US Border Patrol caught 22-year-old Basel Bassel Ebbadi without documents as he was crossing the border on March 9.


“El Paso Sector Intelligence Agents assigned to the Tactical Terrorism Response Team (TTRT) interviewed Basel Bassel EBBADI from Lebanon after he made terroristic threats to personnel at the EP Sector Hardened Facility,” the US Border Patrol said in a memo obtained by the New York Post. “Post Miranda (being read his rights), Basel Bassel EBBADI claimed membership to a foreign terrorist organization.”

Ebbadi was being “interviewed” by TTRT and by the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

According to the memo, Ebbadi was checked by medical staff at the El Paso Hardened Facility (EHF), and told them on March 12, “I’m going to try to make a bomb” after being asked what he was doing in the United States.

He was placed in isolation and referred for further questioning.

After his arrest, Ebbadi told investigators that he trained with Hezbollah for seven years and served as an active member of the terrorist organization, guarding weapons locations, for an additional four years, according to documents reviewed by The Post.

Ebbadi told investigators that his training focused on “jihad” and killing people who are “not Muslim.”

The operative said he was hoping to go first to New York, and then travel around the United States.

He has been placed on a deportation list but it’s not yet clear where the US will send him: Ebbadi said his father lives in Ecuador. In addition to having visited that country, Ebbadi said he has also traveled to Sweden (where he used a fake birthday and name, he said) and Panama — all of it during this year.

In addition to Ebbadi, Border Patrol agents have arrested 59 other people who appear on the US terror watchlist since January 1, 2024.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.