The Obama administration decision to admit Syrian refugees to the U.S. is a dangerous move that could create a "jihadi pipeline" for Islamic militants, said Texas GOP Rep. Michael McCaul.
"I am worried that [the Islamic State] could exploit this effort in order to deploy operatives to America via a federally funded jihadi pipeline," McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said, according to The Hill
Committee members last month sent a letter to the Obama administration warning that the resettlement plan for Syrian refugees, intended to help those caught up in the country's civil war, "raises serious national security concerns."
McCaul said that he had visited a number of refugee camps, and that while "most" of the camps' residents were women and children, "there are male actors that concern me," The Hill reported.
"I think this would be a huge mistake if we bring in these into the United States that could potentially be radicalized," he said, according to The Hill.
The Obama administration is expected to resettle as many as 2,000 Syrian refugees this year, and potentially thousands more in 2016 in an effort led by the State Department. The Department of Homeland Security has the authority to approve the admissions, The Hill said.
Two U.S. intelligence officials testified that they are concerned about the relocation plan, but said they would do everything within their power to rigorously vet the refugees who qualify for admission.
"We are concerned about any group of people coming to the United States who may be coming to the United States for nefarious purposes," said Francis Taylor, Homeland Security Department undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, according to The Hill.
He added that officials "want to make sure that if we are asked to vet individuals from any part of the world to come to the United States, that we have applied the most rigorous screening that's available within the U.S. government."
"It's clearly a population of concern … what we want to be able to do is apply the full weight of U.S. intelligence community holdings to the vetting and screening process so that we can unearth any information that we may have in our holdings that gives us concern about particular individuals," said Nick Rasmussen, chief of the National Counterterrorism Center, according to The Hill.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.