Costa Rica said Thursday that it will deport four suspected members of the Islamic State group after they were arrested in neighboring Nicaragua and handed over to authorities in San José.
The four men, two from Egypt and two from Iraq, were arrested by Nicaraguan soldiers on Tuesday morning near the Costa Rican border.
The men had entered Nicaragua using an unauthorized crossing point known as La Guasimada, authorities in Managua said.
The four were “allegedly linked to the terrorist organization ISIS,” a Nicaraguan police statement said, and were handed back to Costa Rica the same day.
A police statement named the men as Mohamed Ibrahim, 33 and Mahmoud Samy Eissa, 26 — both from Egypt — and Iraqi nationals Ahmed Ghanim Mohamed Al Jubury, 41 and Mustafa Ali Mohamed Yaoob, 29.
Costa Rica’s migratory directorate said the four would be sent back to their countries of origin once their investigations had been concluded.
The men had entered Costa Rica from Panama on June 9 under an immigration control agreement that allows 100 people to enter the country daily.
Stephen Madden, Costa Rica’s immigration police chief, told reporters that biometric checks of the men made by immigration authorities in both Panama and Costa Rica did not turn up anything suspicious about the men.
He said the group had aroused suspicion only when they crossed into Nicaragua on June 25.