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Islamic State can make fake Syrian passports: U.S. report

USA passport

American authorities are warning the Islamic State has the ability to create fake Syrian passports, ISIS has printed itself with its own machines, according to an intelligence report obtained by ABC News.

The 17-page Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Intelligence Report, says ISIS likely has been able to print legitimate-looking Syrian passports since taking over the city of Deir ez-Zour last summer, home to a passport office with “boxes of blank passports” and a passport printing machine. Another passport office was located in Raqqa, Syria, which has long been ISIS’s de facto capital.

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The report says Islamic State has access to Syrian government passport printing machines and blank passports, raising the possibility the travel documents could be faked, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.

The CNN source added that there was also concern that because the militant group had access to biographical and fingerprint data on Syrian citizens, there was also a possibility of identity theft.

ABC News, which first reported the story on Thursday, said the report was released to law enforcement by the Homeland Security Investigations agency last week and raised the possibility that militants could use the documents to travel to the United States.

“Since more than 17 months passed since Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour fell to ISIS, it is possible that individuals from Syria with passports ‘issued’ in these ISIS-controlled cities or who had passport blanks, may have traveled to the U.S., ” ABC News quoted the report as saying.

State Department spokesman John Kirby, asked at a briefing on Friday about the ABC report, replied: “We have been aware of reports, not just in the press, that they may have obtained this capability.”

FBI Director James Comey told a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday: “The intelligence community is concerned that they [Islamic State] have the ability, the capability to manufacture fraudulent passports, which is a concern in any setting.”

 

By MICHELE MCPHEE and BRIAN ROSS

 

 

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