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U.S Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged that his department had to release two men who admitted they were part of a terrorist group from Turkey, after a judge ordered them to be let out – a decision he said he disagreed with.

Earlier this year, Mr. Johnson had told Congress that four men who were caught crossing the southern border and who claimed to be part of a Marxist terrorist group would be deported.

Nevertheless, according to the Washington Times, the secretary told the Homeland Security Committee that two of them remain in U.S. custody, and two others were released into the U.S. and then fled to Canada, where they are seeking asylum.

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Mr. Johnson said he would have preferred the two men be kept in custody but didn’t have a choice after the judge ruled.

“I’m not sure of their exact whereabouts,” Mr. Johnson said.

The Washington Times reported earlier this year on the apparent existence of a smuggling network that shepherded the four men from Istanbul through Paris to Mexico City, where they were stashed for several days before being driven to the U.S. border. They crossed illegally in early September.