Friday, December 11, 2015

Report: ISIS members entered US using forged passports

(Fox News) Fake Syrian passports aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, but they can be had for as little as $200, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security that could call into question the ability to screen Middle East refugees fleeing to the West.

The 18-page report, circulated to law enforcement agencies across the nation, warns that a certain batch of Syrian passports – those issued since June 2014 from two regions under the Islamic State control, Deir- ez-Zour and Raqqa – are likely to be phonies, based on the fact one was bought on the black market in Turkey.

“The person who was issued the passport did not have to travel to Deir- ez-Zour to obtain it,” the report states. “Therefore, it is believed that passport issuance code 014 pertains to Deir- ez-Zour.”

The report, developed with intelligence from Homeland Security Investigations and the State Department, also asserts ISIS is using its own passport printing machines to generate the bogus documents with covers printed in Russia, and then selling them for between $200 and $400.

Intelligence agencies have already flagged some 3,800 counterfeit Syrian passports, and will add data on another 10,000 fake Syrian passports recently intercepted in Bulgaria on the way to Germany. The sheer volume of fake passports flooding the market as refugees – or terrorists posing as refugees - pour into Europe has investigators on edge. The fake Syrian passports will add to an already challenging problem of vetting Syrian refugees, said Claude Arnold, a former DHS Investigations special agent in charge for Minneapolis and Los Angeles.