On Syrian Refugees, Revisited

By Dan Cadman on January 31, 2014

A few days ago, I blogged about Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-Ill.) belief that the United States has not done enough to accept Syrian refugees into this country. By contrast, I opined that there were good and valid reasons for not doing that where immigration policies and public safety are concerned -- reasons that, for once, the administration was following.

My objection was, and is, that the background checks and vetting procedures in our refugee program are inadequate to protect the country against the possibility of admitting a terrorist, as has happened before.

Now, as if we needed more proof of that possibility, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has testified before Congress that the al Qaeda-affiliated Syrian opposition group al Nusra Front is training operatives within Syria and intends, given any opportunity whatever, to attack the United States.

And it is not just males of fighting age about whom we must be concerned, as has become evident by the Dagestani "black widow" terrorists who form a spectral backdrop on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia -- waiting, as they apparently are, to inflict maximum harm through shaheed (martyrdom) tactics involving the use of suicide vests packed with high explosive charges. There is no reason to think that such women do not also form a small but dangerous cadre within the Nusra Front.

While Director Clapper made no reference to refugees in his remarks, one can hope fervently that the clear nexus between providing opportunities for terrorists to gain access to the United States on one hand, and our vulnerable, fraud-ridden refugee and asylum programs on the other hand, is not lost on Sen. Durbin or any other lawmakers.