U.S. Officials on the Lookout for ISIS-Made Passports
- By Sydny Shepard
- Jan 28, 2016
The terror group ISIS has created a whole “industry” out of the production of fake passports, a high-level French official said.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that through ISIS’s operations in Syria, Iraq and Libya, the group has acquired blank passports and has now set up a “real fake document industry.” Cazenueve made the statement following a meeting with top European officials where he proposed setting up a new task force to restrain those attempting to come across borders with fake identification.
Last month, U.S. officials said they suspected ISIS had acquired thousands of blank Syrian passports and at least one passport printing machine after taking over government offices in Syria. Officials from Homeland Security Investigations said that the terror group has likely been able to print legitimate-looking Syrian passports since at least last summer, and raised the possibility that people using the forged documents have snuck into America.
Former Department of Homeland Security intelligence official John Cohen said, “If ISIS has been able to acquire legitimate passports or machines that create legitimate passports, this would represent a major security risk in the United States.”
Fake passports have already been located in Europe. At least two of the suicide bombers responsible for the terror attacks in Paris were able to slip into Europe with a flood of Syrian refugees fleeing their home country.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.