Afghan national tied to Taliban, attack plot smuggled into US

An Afghan national with ties to the Taliban -- and a plot to carry out a terror attack somewhere in North America -- was caught last fall after being smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico, an incident sure to further inflame the debate over national security risks at the border.

The Afghan national's alleged terror ties were not initially flagged in a terror database - and as a result, not initially reported - when the incident first came to light last November, according to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who obtained Homeland Security documents on the incident. It was only later that U.S. officials discovered his associations.

Hunter told Fox News on Friday that the database disconnect represents a "monumental failure."

"We don't know who's coming into the U.S. and what they're bringing with them," he told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "It is as bad as it seems."

The new details were first reported by The Washington Times.

According to information shared with by Hunter's office, the Afghan in question was picked up and detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents about 15 miles inside Arizona from the border. He was arrested along with five Pakistani citizens and two Mexicans identified as smugglers.

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