Security concerns over Barack Obama’s plan to bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslims into the U.S. over the next several years reached a fever pitch in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in California and abroad.
While Obama has made repeated efforts to assuage those fears, one of his most prominent cabinet members recently confirmed the suspicions critics have expressed for weeks.
“We do have to be concerned about the possibility that a terrorist organization may seek to exploit our refugee resettlement process,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson admitted this week.
Speaking on behalf of the majority of Americans who oppose the refugee program, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger responded to the DHS acknowledgement in a Fox News interview Wednesday.
“I mean this respectfully to the secretary,” he said, “but, duh. I mean, this is obvious that they can infiltrate this way. They have said it in social media posts, they obviously want to attack us here at home. This is quite obvious.”
Islamic State extremists have already announced their intention to infiltrate groups of asylum seekers, compounding worries that spiked when at least one of the terrorists behind last month’s Paris attacks was linked to a Syrian refugee passport. Johnson continued his advisory, offering little reassurance that America would fare better than countries in Europe currently welcoming an even larger population of Syrian nationals.
“This is true of this country,” he said of the ISIS threat. “That’s true of every other country that accepts refugees.”
Johnson explained that the refugee program is under review, though he confirmed that America faces terror threats on other fronts. In revamping the nation’s terrorism alert notification system, his department released a bulletin stating that fact.
“As we saw in the recent attacks in San Bernardino and Paris,” the DHS statement warned, “terrorists will consider a diverse and wide selection of targets for attacks.”
Johnson did note, however, that while terrorism is a continued focus, the agency is not aware of any impending threats against the homeland.