State Department spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that “it’s a possibility” that some of the refugees fleeing Syria may actually be al-Qaida or ISIS terrorists.
Kirby, appearing on CNN’s “Wolf” Tuesday, indicated “it’s pretty clear that many these people are just innocent moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents who are trying to escape brutality” from Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Wolf Blitzer: He suggested that there is some fear, some fear that some of these refugees may actually be posing as refugees, but they might actually be al Qaeda or ISIS terrorists trying to sneak into sneak into Europe or the United States. What do you make of that?
John Kirby: Well certainly, that’s a possibility. I mean, you can’t, you can’t dismiss that out of hand. Obviously, if you look at those images though, it’s pretty clear that the great majority of these people are innocent families. Innocent victims of Bashar al-Assad’s brutality and cruelty to his own people. And they are trying to do what they can to protect their children and to protect their families. That’s what really is going on here. But certainly, look, you can’t dismiss out of hand the possibility that there could be some nefarious characters mixed in with them. One of the reasons, you know that we’re so careful at resettlement here in the United States is when we’re looking at people that are coming from that part of the world we have to seriously and significantly vet them before we can allow them to resettle here. The American people expect that and we have to meet that obligation. But again, I think if you look at those images, which you’ve rightly said are so, so heartbreaking, it’s pretty clear that many these people are just innocent moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents who are trying to escape brutality.