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  • US Intel Chief: Syrian Migrants Could Be ISIS Ticket Into Europe

    The Islamic State’s ability to infiltrate the ranks of Syrian refugees pouring into Europe is of “huge concern” to U.S. intelligence officials, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said Wednesday.

    “We don’t obviously put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees,” Clapper said in a question and answer session at a U.S. intelligence conference in Washington, D.C. reported by The Washington Times. “That is a huge concern of ours.”

    Germany expects about 800,000 refugees — primarily from war-torn Syria — to cross into Europe each year for the next several years, and is asking other countries for help taking them in. The U.S. has taken in a few thousand Syrian refugees and is preparing to take in more. (RELATED: German Welcome Inspires Second Migrant Wave)

    The U.S. has what Clapper called a “pretty aggressive” screening system for refugees coming to the U.S., but said the intelligence community isn’t confident Europe is properly screening the refugees. (RELATED: WSJ Admits Migrant Wave Will Burden European Economy)

    “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?” Clapper said at the conference.

    Many migrants target Europe’s weakly guarded maritime borders by attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. More than 350,000 have tried so far this year, compared to 22,000 in the entire year of 2013. The United Nations reports 72 percent of them are adult men.

    Denmark was criticized this week for using limited force in an attempt to register a group of refugees headed for Sweden. Some of the refugees were incensed.

    “We flipped twice in a boat, and we suffered at the hands of gangs, for them to bring us here and fingerprint us?” Palestinian migrant Umm Mohammad told The New York Times. “We’ll only fingerprint in the country we want.”

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