With the flood of Middle Eastern refugees into Europe becoming a full-blown crisis, Secretary of State John Kerry committed yesterday to increasing the number of migrants America will accept. However, there remains “huge concern” among US intelligence officials that ISIS operatives may be hiding among these people.
The United States is prepared to increase the number of refugees it resettles by at least 5,000 people next year, Kerry said. And jihadists may be planning to exploit the United States’ generosity.
U.S. intelligence officials have said they are concerned that the flow of migrants into Europe has been infiltrated by ISIS extremists who are bent on carrying out terror attacks in Europe and possibly the United States. According to this report from the UK Daily Express, ISIS has already smuggled in thousands of extremists.
“As they descend on Europe, one of the obvious issues that we worry about, and in turn as we bring refugees into this country, is exactly what’s their background?” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday during an industry conference. “We don’t obviously put it past the likes of [ISIS] to infiltrate operatives among these refugees.”
Most of these refugees are fleeing parts of Iraq and Syria that are under ISIS control.
Security concerns also run high, especially after two Iraqi refugees were arrested in Kentucky four years ago on charges they plotted to help kill American troops in Iraq. U.S. officials appeared to miss several security warnings. Lawmakers and presidential candidates have cited the case in opposing more Syrian refugees in the U.S.
The Associated Press contributed to this article