Tags: Immigration | War on Terrorism | border | security | terrorists | cross

Report: Homeland Security Can't Stop ISIS from Entering US

By    |   Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:43 PM

Amid growing fears that Americans and Europeans trained by the Islamic State (ISIS) could enter the United States to stage terror attacks comes news that there isn't much if anything Homeland Security can do to stop it.

The New York Post reports that Homeland Security officials say not enough is known about the Westerners to prevent them from entering the country.

"We don’t have a fulsome picture in all cases," Jennifer Lasley, deputy undersecretary at the department, told a House subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. Troy Miller, acting assistant commissioner with US Customs and Border Protection, called the situation concerning.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul said the government has only estimates of how many Americans and other Westerners are members of ISIS. There are "potentially thousands that we do not know who they are," he said.

Between 100 and 200 Americans are believed to have trained with ISIS in Syria, as have more than 1,000 Europeans. Most are believed to still be in Iraq and Syria as fighters, including two Minneapolis men who were killed in fighting with members of the Free Syrian Army.

But if Homeland Security cannot identify those who have traveled to Syria for jihadist training, they can easily return home to carry out attacks on Americans. Europeans could take advantage of visa-waiver programs between countries to hit the homeland as well.

"Terrorists could be just one visa-free flight away from arriving in the United States," Rep. Candice Miller said. The Michigan Republican is chairwoman of the subcommittee that held a Wednesday's hearing.

Miller is introducing a bill to revoke the passports of Americans who travel overseas to be trained as terrorists.

"We may be reminded on 9/11 the count was approximately 19 who created the most heinous terrorist attack, killing more than 3,000," Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, said.

"Though we currently have no credible information to indicate that (ISIS) is planning to attack the homeland, we remain concerned in the long term that their access to Westerners … will allow them to plan and coordinate attacks in the U.S.," Lasley said.

The State Department and Homeland Security say they are taking constant action to combat the threat.

Lasley also addressed concerns that terrorists could cross into the United States across the Mexican border.

"We don't have any credible information, that we are aware of, of known or suspected terrorists coming across the border," the New York Daily News reported her as saying.

Some Republicans, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, have expressed concern that ISIS and other terrorist groups might take advantage of what they believe is insufficient security at the border. Thousands of children from Central American countries have crossed the border this year and turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents in hopes of getting permission to stay in the country.

But John Wagner, acting assistant commissioner in the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Office of Field Operations, told the panel, "The number of known watch-listed persons we are encountering on the Southwest border is minimal compared to commercial aviation. We're talking tens versus thousands."

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Amid growing fears that Americans and Europeans trained by the Islamic State (ISIS) could enter the United States to stage terror attacks comes news that there isn't much if anything Homeland Security can do to stop it.The New York Post reports that Homeland Security...
border, security, terrorists, cross
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2014-43-10
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:43 PM
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