The week ahead: House eyes passport holders linked to ISIS

The week ahead: House eyes passport holders linked to ISIS

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dhsU.S Lawmakers this week will focus on the threat of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) members using western passports to enter the United States on commercial airline flights.

The House Homeland Security Committee will meet today to address the terrorism fears in a hearing that is titled “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland.”

According to The Hill lawmakers have said ISIS has thousands of members that have U.S. or European passports and could slip into America undetected.

Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said it was important to access the vulnerability of U.S. facilities like airports to potential attacks.

“The brutality of ISIS shocks the international conscience as they continue to carry out gruesome attacks in Iraq and Syria,” he said in a statement. “Of major concern to our security is the rapid expansion of this terrorist organization and its recruitment of foreign fighters, many of whom have Western passports that could ease their travel to Europe and the United States to carry out attacks.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, FBI Director James Comey and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen are scheduled to testify before the panel.

iHLS Israel Homeland Security

McCaul said the security officials would discuss “threats the United States faces from ISIS and highlight the efforts of the federal government to counter such security concerns here at home.

“We will also examine the continuing danger posed by al Qaeda and its affiliates, particularly in Yemen and Syria, as well as the rising threat of homegrown terrorism and the ever present and growing cyber security risks facing the United States,” he added.

The panel’s Transportation Security subcommittee will also hold a hearing on Thursday about “safeguarding privacy and civil liberties while keeping our skies safe.”