According to a report issued by the US intelligence, the ISIS has the ability to create fake Syrian passports, the news was confirmed this week by a federal official.
The news was reported by the ABC news and the CNN, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed the existence of the report but declined to provide a copy of it.
ABC News, which first reported the existence of the report on Thursday, confirmed the report was released to law enforcement by the Homeland Security Investigations agency. The US intelligence believes that the fake passports could be used by members of the ISIS organization to travel to the United States.
According to the US intelligence, members of the ISIS terrorist group have access to Syrian government passport printing machines and blank passports. This means that the organization is able to print travel documents for its members.
“The report warned that, based on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s intelligence sources, ISIS has access to passport printing machines and blank passport books, raising the possibility the documents could be faked, according to the source.” states the CNN.
According to the CNN there was also concern that because the ISIS members had access to biographical and fingerprint data on Syrian citizens, there could expose Syrians to identity theft.
“The source noted that, beyond the report, there’s concern that this capability coupled with ISIS access to government buildings in Syria that contain valid biographical data and fingerprint info on Syrian citizens give rise to the threat of identity theft.” continues the CNN.
The experts don’t exclude that the fake passports have been already used by the ISIS to enter in the US.
“Since more than 17 months [have] passed since Raqqa and Deir ez–Zour fell to ISIS, it is possible that individuals from Syria with passports ‘issued’ in these ISIS-controlled cities or who had passport blanks, may have travelled to the U.S.,” states the ABC News.
The FBI Director James Comey discussed this week this issue in testimony on Capitol Hill.
“The intelligence community is concerned that they [Islamic State] have the ability, the capability to manufacture fraudulent passports, which is a concern in any setting.” said the FBI Director.
The Maine Independent Sen. Angus Kind told CNN that the US is moving toward developing a new generation of passports that cannot be faked due to the presence of a chip that has biometric data.
“I think this tells us that we’ve got to accelerate doing that. But in the world of threats, of course, this is the one of them, but there are lots of other things we have to attend to as well,” King said.