- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 15, 2015

One of the suicide bombers who attacked Paris on Friday held a Syrian passport and had posed as a refugee, according to news reports that put new pressure on President Obama’s plans to bring 10,000 of the refugees to the U.S. in 2016.

“The barbaric attacks in Paris should compel all Western nations to acknowledge the reality of threat posed by radical Islam and to redouble their efforts to protect against it,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican and chairman of the Senate’s immigration subcommittee, said in a statement to The Washington Times. “This should include action by Congress to block the president from unilaterally expanding refugee resettlement in the upcoming government funding bill.”

CNN reported that one of the bombers was part of a group posing as refugees who entered the European Union in Greece on Oct. 3. He was carrying no papers, and the EU issued him an emergency passport under a name now believed to be false, and he was able to travel within the continent, ending up in France.

In the U.S., the FBI and other top security officials already have admitted that vetting would-be refugees is difficult because the U.S. does not have access to Syrian files or to on-the-ground resources that would allow officers to check background stories and claims.

Despite those security holes, Mr. Obama and his top lieutenants have insisted they believe they can screen out would-be terrorists and other bad actors from the 10,000 the president proposes to house here. The ones the U.S. would take are supposed to have already been cleared by a U.N. agency.



The Department of Homeland Security didn’t respond this weekend to a request for comment on its refugee plans.

The issue is already part of the 2016 presidential campaign, in which several prominent Republicans have demanded Mr. Obama halt the Syrian refugee program until he can certify that better security checks are in place.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, one of the candidates, even called for a halt in all immigration or other admissions of those coming from countries where the Islamic State or al Qaeda have a “strong presence.”

“During the debate last week, I stated that we should not admit those claiming to be Syrian refugees and was condemned by the left for that position. I was right, and the events in Paris affirm that,” Mr. Huckabee said in a statement. “Even the far left and politically correct government of France has closed its borders. It’s time for a president who will act to protect Americans, not just talk and protect the image of Islam.”

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