A new wave of fear is now bothering authorities across United States that Islamic State militant group, also known as Isis or ISIL, got the ability of printing legitimate-looking Syrian passports. It is also being worried they may have already issued several copies.
Department of Homeland Security said Friday the Isis holds control of the town that houses passport office equipped with boxes of blank passports along with a passport printing machine.
FBI Director James Comey said on Wednesday the intelligence community is concerned that fake Syrian passports may have been used by the two suicide bombers who attacked French capital Paris on November 13 that killed 129 innocent people and injured more than 300 others.
A 18-page report has been circulated to law enforcement agencies across the nation and it warns certain batch of Syrian passports are fake and those have been issued from Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zour after June 2014 when the Isis took control of the two cities. The claims are also based on the fact one passport was bought in Turkey from its black market earlier in June this year.
The report adds fake Syrian passports can be availed for as little as $200 and all these call into question about the ability of screening Middle East refugees who are fleeing to the West from war torn zones.
Until now about 3,800 counterfeit Syria passports have already been flagged by the intelligence agencies and another 10,000 such documents will be added to the data from Bulgaria that have been intercepted while refugees were on the way to Germany.
The investigators are now put on edge with the sheer volume of fake passports flooding as refugees are seeking to enter Europe, including with terrorists posing as refugees.
Former DHS Investigations special agent in charge for Minneapolis and Los Angeles, Claude Arnorld, said the fake passports will further intensify the challenges of vetting Syrian refugees.
Arnold added, “In absence of specific intelligence that identifies the refugee as a member ISIS, we are not going to know they are a member of ISIS.”
He further mentioned the war torn zone in Syria is a no mans land and so the refugee application is based solely on story that the applicant tells and this is something really dangerous as well as idiotic.
Earlier too Arnold said war criminals are entering the US by telling convincing stories about being persecuted on political or religious grounds. More to this, some of the war criminals became permanent residents of the US before being caught and this was due to the lag time in gathering information on what had happened with the person in past.
Added to all these, the Homeland Security Investigators also believe the police force in the Syrian cities of Raqqa and Deri-ez-Zour may have been involved too in the issuing of fake passports as in the Turkey’s forged Syrian passport case the signature of head of the Deir-ez-Zour Police, Zuhair Hamad saad Al deen, was found clearly displayed.