From the Washington Times
By Guy Taylor
America’s top spy said Wednesday that U.S. intelligence officials have a “huge concern” about Islamic State’s ability to infiltrate waves of Syrian war refugees flowing into Europe and potentially the United States as pressure mounts on Western nations to take in a growing number of people fleeing the conflict in the heart of the Middle East.
“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?” Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said. “We don’t obviously put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees.”
“That is a huge concern of ours,” Mr. Clapper said during a rare and unusually informal public appearance at an annual U.S. intelligence community conference that kicked off Wednesday morning in Washington.
While he added that U.S. authorities, who have so far allowed in fewer than 2,000 of Syria’s some 4 million refugees, have a “pretty aggressive” system for screening the backgrounds of those seeking entry into the United States, Mr. Clapper said he’s not so confident about the capabilities of some European nations.
He made the remarks during a wide ranging question-and-answer session that former ambassador and U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte moderated at Wednesday’s conference sponsored by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and the Armed Forces Electronics Communication Association.