US Customs and Border Protection officials removed a press release from their website announcing the arrest of two Yemeni nationals on the terrorism watch list who had illegally crossed the border this year.
Officials removed the release because it “was not properly reviewed and contained certain policy and disclosure information related to national security,” CBP spokesman Justin Long told The Post on Tuesday.
The press release, which is archived online at the Wayback Machine, was originally posted on Monday, but is no longer available on the CBP website. When your link is clicked, readers are sent to a page that says “Access Denied” and “You are not authorized to access this page.” It is unclear when the version was removed.
The deleted statement states that U.S. Border Patrol agents from the CBP Center sector in Southern California detained two Yemeni men in January and March who were found on the FBI’s terrorism watch list and in the federal no-fly list.
The statement included two images of the men with black bars over their eyes.
The first man, an unidentified 33-year-old man, was arrested on January 29 at around 1:10 a.m. about three miles west of the Calexico port of entry, about two hours east of San Diego, according to the archived statement.
When agents searched the man and checked his background, they discovered that he had a SIM card hidden under the insole of his shoe and was on the FBI’s Terrorism Watch List and the No-Fly List.
CBP said in the archived statement that the man was transferred to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is in charge of deporting people to their home countries.
The second incident occurred on March 30 at around 11:30 p.m. when agents arrested an unidentified 26-year-old man about two miles west of the same port of entry and realized he was on the same lists of federal security, according to the deleted statement.
CBP said the man was in federal custody “pending removal.”
“Part of the Border Patrol’s mission is that we will protect the country from terrorists,” Patrol Chief Agent Gregory K. Bovino boasted in the statement that has since withdrawn.
“Today, like every day, our agents did that. These arrests at our border illustrate the importance of our mission and how we can never stop being vigilant in our daily mission to protect this great country. “
When pressed by The Post to explain the apparent security issue, a CBP spokesperson paused.
“It is CBP policy not to confirm status on any investigation, law enforcement or national security list,” the spokesperson said.