Remember in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks when authorities suggested that terrorists hid among the sea of refugees entering France? In a recent intelligence report distributed to state and local U.S. law enforcement agencies , the Department of Homeland Security admitted a chilling possibility: ISIS may have access to both blank passports as well as legitimate passport-printing machines.
ABC News quoted passages from the report which both explained how the group obtained this equipment — and how dangerous they could be with official-looking papers in hand:
“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 says.
The report notes that the primary source for the information was rated at “moderate confidence,” the second-highest rating given for source assessments (. . .)
ABC also made note of FBI director James Comey's testimony before a Senate committee Thursday, in which Comey underscored Homeland Security's advisory by saying the broader intelligence community "is concerned that they [ISIS] have the ability, the capability to manufacture fraudulent passports."
There is evidence someone is someone is creating fraudulent Syrian passports, as two of the jihadis who participated in the attacks on Paris had them — and they may have used the false passports to slip into Europe with the current ongoing flood of Syrian refugees.
DHS ended its alert on a chilling note, pointing out that ISIS operations "will continue to increase and expand" beyond the borders of the territories the group has seized for its "caliphate" if their ability to fabricate legitimate-looking documents is not put in check. Let's hope customs agents are paying extra close attention.
Photos by Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty