LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Alleged terrorism supporters and human rights violators were among dozens of fugitives arrested this week in immigration operations in Los Angeles and 11 other U.S. cities, authorities said Friday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 36 fugitives as part of Operation Safe Nation and Operation No Safe Haven III, according to ICE officials.
Of the 36 foreign nationals arrested, four had been convicted in the U.S. for crimes such as drug trafficking, bribery, domestic violence and driving under the influence, authorities said.
The arrests included three people from South Asia who were known or suspected to have provided “material support to a terrorist organization whose members have engaged in assassinations and used explosives and firearms to endanger people and destroy property”.
Three people from China who officials say assisted in forced abortions or incarcerated religious practitioners who were later persecuted were also arrested, according to ICE.
A senior military officer from South America allegedly affiliated with the state’s intelligence service unit implicated with a clandestine death squad was also taken into custody.
In addition to L.A., the concurrent nationwide operation – which is considered the first of its kind – was also conducted in San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Antonio, and St. Paul, Minnesota.
“Through the vigorous use of our unique investigative authorities, ICE will continue to ensure that our great nation provides no safe haven for human rights violators and other national security threats,” said ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña. “To those hiding in the shadows: we will find you, arrest you and bring you to justice.”
Officials say the foreign nationals arrested “all have outstanding removal orders and are subject to repatriation to their countries of origin.”