National Security Desk / April 8, 2016

Administration Rushes Vetting of Syrian Refugees

This week, the first of the refugees from Syria are entering the United States.

This week, the first of the refugees from Syria are entering the United States. Ahmad al-Abboud and his wife and five children touched down in Kansas City, Missouri, to resettle here. “I’m happy,” al-Abboud said, presumably before he left for the States. “America is the country of freedom and democracy, there are jobs opportunities, there is good education, and we are looking forward to having a good life over there.” While al-Abboud and his family lived in Jordan for three years before relocating here, the Obama administration is planning to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the fiscal year in September.

While it usually takes 18-24 months for the State Department to process a refugee, it is speeding up its vetting process so that it will take three months. Remember: Islamic State terrorists snuck into Europe by hiding amongst the throngs of people fleeing the Syrian Civil War. If the State Department lets its guard down now (as if it was ever guarded about this threat), the Obama administration is essentially handing the Islamic State a ready-to-fill Trojan horse.

Meanwhile — and somewhat ironically given the Trojan horse imagery — Greece has become a little less welcoming to the people crossing the water between Turkey and its country. This week, Greece made a second boat trip shipping 45 men from Pakistan — nothing to do with the Syrian crisis — off the Greek Island of Lesbos and back to Turkey. It seems like the country is getting smart to a security threat that the United States is beginning to blithely embrace.

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