The Islamic State group appears to be getting more sophisticated and may be using that to exploit the United States’ weak vetting process for refugees.
A 17-page Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Intelligence report, obtained by ABC News, showed that ISIS has likely been able to produce realistic looking Syrian passports in order to sneak caliphate soldiers into the U.S. as Syrian refugees.
The report, issued to law enforcement last week, said ISIS has had the ability to print the passports since taking control of the city of Deir ez-Zour, which has a passport office and boxes of blank passports within its borders.
“Since more than 17 months [have] passed since Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour fell to ISIS, it is possible that individuals from Syria with passports ‘issued’ in these ISIS controlled cities or who had passport blanks, may have traveled to the U.S.,” the report stated, according to ABC News.
Director of the FBI, James Comey, expressed such concerns Wednesday.
“The intelligence community is concerned that they have the ability, the capability to manufacture fraudulent passports, which is a concern in any setting,” Comey said during testimony on Capitol Hill.
Fake passports in Syria seem to a norm, appearing to be as big a crime as jaywalking is in the U.S.
“Fake Syrian passports are so prevalent in Syria that Syrians do not even view possessing them as illegal,” the report said, according to ABC News. “The source stated fake Syrian passports can be obtained in Syria for $200 to $400 and that backdated passport stamps to be placed in the passport cost the same.”
This would create an incredible danger in accepting Syrian refugees, former Department of Homeland Security intelligence official John Cohen, told ABC News.
“If ISIS has been able to acquire legitimate passports or machines that create legitimate passports, this would represent a major security risk in the United States,” he said.
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