Us department of homeland security warns against fake syrian passports

A security report spreads that people could have already entered the country with such, which serves politicians for scaremongering purposes

One of the suicide bombers who blew himself up outside the soccer stadium in Paris was carrying what was believed to be a fake Syrian passport belonging to a killed Syrian soldier. Now the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns in a report (Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Intelligence Report) sent to security agencies last week that IS supporters could have entered the U.S. with fake but real-looking passports.

According to the report, which appears to have been obtained by ABC News, IS is believed to have been able to print authentic-looking passports itself after the Islamists partially captured the city of Deir ez-Zour. There was one office there with many unfilled passports and one passport printer, it said. There is another passport office in Raqqa, the "capital" of IS. However, the report states that Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour have been "for 17 months" were controlled by IS, which is not the case for Deir ez-Zour.

Moreover, there is only talk of a mere possibility that "People with passports ‘ied’ in these IS-controlled cities, or those who had unfilled passports, could have entered the U.S". The source from which this information comes is indicated by "medium trustworthiness" classified.

A Syrian passport believed to have been ied in IS-controlled territory found in Istanbul earlier this year. Image: Homeland Security Investigations Intelligence Report

However, FBI Director James Comey also told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, in response to a question to that effect from committee chairman Charles Grassley, the Republican senator from Iowa, that intelligence agencies were concerned that IS could produce fake passports. However, Comey appears to be pandering to Grassley, who on the one hand wants to criticize the U.S. government and on the other invoked the threat allegedly posed by Syrian immigrants.

In 2016, U.S. President Obama wants to send just 10.000 Syrian refugees – especially the tortured, the sick, women and children – which the Republicans increasingly reject after the attacks in Paris, strengthened by the massacre in San Bernardino. Presidential candidate Donald Trump calls for a total ban on Muslims entering the country.

Grassley pointed out that National Counterterrorism Center allegedly identified individuals "with ties to terrorist groups in Syria" that have been attempted, "to enter the USA with the help of the refugee program". However, the refugee program announced by Obama has not even started yet, moreover, Syrians will then be subjected to intensive or scrupulous security checks by dozens of authorities for up to two years before they are allowed to travel to and be admitted in the USA. Since 2011, 2.234 Syrian refugees admitted.

Grassley went on to say that the FBI director also acknowledged information gaps in the vetting process. However, this is not the only reason to be concerned, but also because the IS controls large parts of the country and thus government buildings. Thus, he also had access to personal information of "many innocent Syrians", which Grassley now placed under general suspicion, however, when he rhetorically asked the FBI director if he had concerns about, "that the IS can fake passports or other identity documents for its fighters in such a way that they are virtually unrecognizable". In response, Comey said this was possible.

Despite open IS confessions, Tashfeen Malik was able to slip through visa security checks

The circulation of fake passports was also demonstrated by journalists who were able to buy a fake Syrian passport for Dutch leader Rutte in September.

According to the report of the Ministry of Homeland Security, Syria is flooded with fake documents, so the possession of fake passports is not even considered illegal. According to the informant, passports could be bought for 200 to 400 US dollars, backdated stamps in the passports cost similarly much. A passport with a number was discovered in Turkey, from which it could be concluded that it was ied in an IS-controlled area at the beginning of the year. The report acknowledges that there is no knowledge about the location of passport printing machines, as they are mobile. One has also no knowledge, how the allegedly in Deir ez-Zour stolen passports look like. But one thinks, it must be warned in any case: "If the ability of IS to create passports is not controlled, their area of operation will continue to grow and expand beyond the areas they control."

Even more reason for the desired rejection of Syrian or, for that matter, Islamic refugees was provided by the New York Times’ report that Tashfeen Malik, a Pakistani woman who with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook committed the San Bernardino massacre and is believed to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, has slipped through three background checks by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Auben and the FBI – even though, it has now been discovered, she had previously communicated publicly on social media that she supported the Islamic State and wanted to be part of it. In addition, Farook had to go through two interviews with a Pakistani official when she left the country and with an immigration officer in the U.S. when she applied for a green card.

Farook came to the U.S. through the K-1 visa program, under which foreigners were allowed to enter to marry U.S. citizens. The Weibe House has now ordered the program and 90.000 people who entered the U.S. through it in the last two years. The criticism is that apparently postings in the social networks are not used for security reviews.

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