The Daily Beast reports: One of the Paris attackers was supposedly found with a Syrian passport—leading Republican governors here in America to vow to block Syrian refugees from entering their states.
But that passport was a fake, French officials told The Wall Street Journal, which means the governors’ freakout over refugees was likely based on a lie.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, a former member of ISIS emphasized that Syrian passports, like the one found on that Paris terrorist, can be bought from the Syrian regime.
“There are people who go back and forth to Aleppo or Hama or Latakia or Tartus—you give them $1,000 and a nice photograph, and they’ll print you a good passport,” Abu Khaled, a former member the Islamic State’s internal security service, Amn al-Dawleh, said Monday.
“The guys with the regime are corrupt; they’ll give you whatever you want for money,” he added.
That’s not the only way, though. A reporter for the London Daily Mail purchased an identical passport online for $2,000. German customs agents in September seized a shipment of fake Syrian passports being sold to asylum seekers from countries like Iraq, Libya, and Egypt. (Syrians get automatic refugee status in the European Union.) Many of the forgeries are suspected to come from Turkey.
French officials told the Journal that Ahmad al-Mohammed, who blew himself up outside the Stade de France, was carrying a counterfeit Syrian passport made for him. Al-Mohammed’s fingerprints matched those on the passport found near his body, the French added.
Greek officials said the information on Al-Mohammed’s passport was run against police databases after he landed in Leros on Oct. 3 and nothing was found. Another man carrying a passport with identical information, but a different photograph, was being used by a man in Serbia who was arrested on Monday.
In a sense, Republican governors of 14 states took ISIS at their word, accepting the counterfeit Syrian passport as the reason to deny 10,000 thousands of Syrian refugees from settling in the United States. [Continue reading…]