Speculations that extremists have targeted refugee program to enter the United States might be true after all. According to the Homeland Security Chairman, the Committee has intelligence that terrorists did consider the route.
On Monday, Rep Michael McCaul stated that the contents of a classified letter from the National Counterterrorism Center provided new information on refugee plans to enter the country. McCaul claimed that the contents were not previously disclosed by the Obama Administration for fear that critics would use these to counter the White House's refugee plans. Critics have already been warning that the program is at risk for the ill-use of the ISIS.
In the letter, the NCTC has identified "individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria attempting to gain entry to the U.S. through the U.S. refugee program." The agency also added that the refugee system is prone to be exploited by "extremist groups seeking to send operatives to the West."
McCaul claimed this disclosure, despite being quite delayed, is still courageous of the NCTC. "That was very courageous for them to come forward with this, to tell me about this personally, given the political debate on the Hill," McCaul said on Monday.
On his speech, McCaul added that the threat represented by ISIS should not be underestimated. He added that the nation is currently not secure. "I believe 2015 will be seen as a watershed year in this long war - the year when our enemies gained an upper hand and when the spread of terror once again awoke the West," he explained.
The White House neither denied nor confirmed these claims. However, Press Secretary Josh Earnest still put a good word in on the refugee program, especially the screening process. According to him, the process is quite rigorous, taking up to two years to complete per individual refugee seeking entrance.
"Those individuals who seek to enter the United States through the refugee resettlement program do so only after undergoing the most intensive screening of anybody who attempts to enter the United States," Earnest told reporters, also on Monday.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also refused to comment on the new assertions.
McCaul's grim description of the country's current state of security ran in contrast to President Obama's description. Less than 24 hours before McCaul's revelations, Obama reassured that while terrorism is real, the nation would be able to overcome it.
"We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us. Our success won't depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear," he explained. It could be noted how he refused to call the terror group ISIS, using ISIL intend.
Obama also added that the country would prevail over this threat "by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power."
McCaul did not let Obama's optimism pass. McCaul also criticized the Obama Administration for not laying out new steps to fighting violent extremism during his address to the nation. McCaul said the terror group is far from being "contained."