Top U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that ISIS was likely to attempt direct attacks on the U.S. in the coming year and that the group was infiltrating refugees escaping from Iraq and Syria to move across borders.
ISIS “will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016,” Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
The number of illegal aliens from terrorist nations slipping across the U.S. border has been on the rise in recent years and shows no sign of abating, according to an investigative report citing confidential leaked documents.
The findings come as the top intelligence official in the U.S., James Clapper, revealed in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday that terrorists from the Islamic State or ISIS are clearly using the mass movement of migrants and refugees across continents to infiltrate Western nations.
But many of the refugees are not actually Syrians or Iraqis. Legitimate refugees from these nations are joined by Muslim migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and other countries across northern Africa.ISIS fighters have seized Syrian passport facilities with machines capable of manufacturing passports, CNN reported.
Clapper estimated that so-called “violent extremists” were active in about 40 countries and that more safe havens now exist for terrorists “than at any time in history.”
Clapper said ISIS was “taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow,” adding that they were “pretty skilled at phony passports so they can travel ostensibly as legitimate travelers.”
El Paso, Texas, has for decades been not only a haven for foreign refugees sent to the U.S. by the U.S. State Department and United Nations, but the city is also on the front lines of in fight to keep criminal and terrorist elements from entering across the U.S.-Mexico border. Within the city there are scads of surveillance cameras, miles of high fences, check points and army of agents “keep constant watch,” WSB reporter Aaron Diamant reported.
But just eight miles west of of downtown El Paso the border takes on a different look and feel. The sturdy fences are replaced by a “vehicle barrier” and flimsy barbed wire.
“There’s nothing here,” Victor Manjarrez, a recently retired border sector chief, told Diamant. “You can come up and make a bee line for a warehouse if you’d like.”
He found “countless spots to slip through” along miles of border.
And people are doing exactly that.