Homeland Security Chairman Warns Again: ISIS Is Exploiting The Refugee Crisis

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Dec 09, 2015 8:15 AM
Homeland Security Chairman Warns Again: ISIS Is Exploiting The Refugee Crisis

For months we've heard warnings from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security that there isn't a proper vetting system in place to ensure terrorists are not entering the United States from Syria through our refugee program. 

Now, Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul is warning yet again about ISIS exploiting the refugee crisis in order to recruit new fighters and to get trained fighters into western Europe and the United States.

"The United States government has information to indicate that individuals tied to terrorist groups in Syria have already attempted to gain access to our country through the U.S. refugee program," McCaul said during his State of Homeland Security address earlier this week in Washington.

Earlier this year, the National Counter Terrorism Center sent a letter to McCaul warning about the vulnerability of the threat.

“The refugee system, like all immigration programs, is vulnerable to exploitation from extremist groups seeking to send operatives to the West. U.S. and Canadian authorities in 2011 arrested several refugees linked to what is now ISIL," the letter states. "Early in 2011, Canadian authorities arrested dual Iraqi-Canadian citizen Faruq ‘Isa who is accused of vetting individuals on the internet for suicide operations in Iraq. The FBI, in May of the same year, arrested Kentucky-based Iraqi refugees Wa’ad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi for attempting to send weapons and explosives from Kentucky to Iraq and conspiring to commit terrorism while in Iraq. Alwan pled guilty to the charges against him in December 2011, and Hammadi pled guilty in August 2012.”

We now know the ISIS killers who carried out recent attacks in Paris not only used the refugee stream to get into France, but that the leaders of the attack traveled to a Hungarian refugee camp to recruit new fighters. 

Despite all of these facts, the Obama administration is doubling down its efforts and calls to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of next year.