FBI Director James Comey voiced his concern during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing about the lack of information available to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States.
“My concern there is there are certain gaps ... in the data available to us,” Comey said. “There is risk associated of bringing anybody in from the outside, but specifically from a conflict zone like that,” he added.
This hearing comes after the Obama administration’s announcement to allow 85,000 refugees into the U.S. next year and 100,000 in 2017. Those are huge increases from the current level of 70,000. The Obama administration has said that at least 10,000 of the refugees next year will come from Syria.
Many lawmakers are concerned that ISIS extremists or other terrorists could make it into the U.S. as a refugee due to the lack of intelligence and information available about the area.
“The intelligence that we have of this particular conflict zone is not as rich as we would like it to be,” admitted Nicholas Rasmussen, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center during the hearing.
Even Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson expressed concern saying, “We should do the right thing by accepting more, but we should be careful in doing it.”
Currently the U.S. has taken in around 2,000 Syrian refugees and has contributed about $4 billion in foreign aid to the Syrian refugee crisis, more than any other country.
Read more at The Hill.
Updated: Fri, Oct 23rd 2015 @ 1:15pm EDT