CNN: How ISIS terrorists are infiltrating the stream of refugees to Europe
We've known for many months that Islamic State terrorists have been using the flood of refugees going to Europe to hide their fighters. But how are they doing it?
A CNN report shows how easy it is - at least in Libya - for the terrorists to mingle with innocent civilians to make it to Europe - and perhaps points beyond.
Abu Walid knew his caller to be a devout man, a member of ISIS. And his request was chilling. Could he ship 25 of his people from Libya to Europe on a small boat for $40,000?
Abu Walid -- not his real name -- declined. But it is a request that's becoming increasingly common, he told CNN, in the past two months.
ISIS is trying to infiltrate this trade to get their people to Europe from the chaotic and near-failed state of Libya as the route from Turkey to Greece becomes more heavily policed.
"Exploitation of migrant smuggling networks by ISIS in North Africa has only been a matter of time ... the U.S. and Europe need to act quickly, and together," a Western diplomat told CNN.
He also heard of a recent case of 40 Tunisian ISIS members leaving from the militant stronghold of Sirte. Thwarted by bad weather, they tried again ten days later. He didn't know if they made it.
A senior Libyan military intelligence official in Misrata, Ismail Shukri, said that ISIS militants sought to disguise themselves by traveling with "their families, without weapons, as normal illegal immigrants."
"They will wear American dress and have English language papers so they cause no suspicion."
European officials insist they're trying to be better prepared. A senior EU counter-terrorism official told CNN there were more Europol officers working at potential "hotspots" of entry for migrants.
Still, the prospect of such an influx is a nightmare for Europe.
"If confirmed it is indeed very alarming. It is not one or two trying to move -- it seems more organized," the official told CNN.
It's no accident that Libya is a target for ISIS. They are taking advantage of the chaos to slip their fighters through the inadequate vetting procedures being used by Europeans to set up what sounds like several cells that could be activated at any time.
The fact that it appears to be very well organized suggests they already have targets in mind and a network in Europe already established to support the attack.
But what about refugees coming to the US? Couldn't happen here, right? Guess again:
Syrians and Palestinians managed to buy illegal citizenship documents from Honduras then tried to use them to enter the U.S., a Honduran newspaper reported over the weekend, exposing a scheme that analysts say could post a danger to the U.S. visa system.
La Prensa uncovered a criminal network that paid Honduran officials to illegally register foreigners as legal residents, which gave them access to documents that could then be used to gain broader access to the western hemisphere.
The La Prensa report was highlighted Friday by the Center for Immigration Studies, which said the network appeared to be a favorite for those of Arab origin — particularly Syrians and Palestinians — who were looking for a way to enter the U.S.
The criminal network managed to get names registered in Honduras’s national registration of persons (RNP). That meant they could obtain passports and official birth certificates, on RNP paper and stamped by the agency director, that they could then take to the U.S. embassy to try to earn a visitor’s visa, the report said.
In one case highlighted by La Prensa, a man managed to get registered them used his false papers to register at least eight other members of his family, including children and grandchildren. All told, the newspaper said at least 100 Palestinians and Syrians who obtained fraudulent documents have been detected, but it’s unclear how many cases are still out there.
Sounds innocent, doesn't it? Until you remember that ISIS terrorists in Libya are also traveling with their children to throw off authorities. Why not try the same tactic to get into America?
Being a refugee is a terrible fate, to be sure. But the US government has a responsibility to do all it can to prevent terrorists from using our humanitarian instincts against us to try and kill Americans. And rather than redoubling efforts to vet the innocence of those coming to the US as refugees, the Obama administration has reduced the time it takes to vet a refugee by two thirds.
Europe will almost certainly pay dearly for their refugee policies. There's no reason for the US to follow suit.