Federal officials are on high alert over threats to the United States following the massive evacuation from Afghanistan and the devastating attack in Kabul this week.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tracks three main threats – including whether individuals overseas in Afghanistan who are associated with ISIS or al Qaeda could use the resettlement process as a means of entering states United, according to a federal government. call with law enforcement partners obtained by CNN.
“To counteract this, an extensive screening and screening process is in place for those who transfer to the United States,” DHS chief intelligence officer John Cohen said on the call Friday.
An FBI official said on the call that while there is no specific intelligence on terrorist organizations using offshoring as an opportunity, “we cannot ignore that it is a possibility.”
There are “a very small number of people who have been flagged as being of concern,” said an official from the National Targeting Center on the call, who appeared to be referring to people at so-called “water lily transfer points.” “like Doha. and Qatar.
CNN has reached out to DHS for comment on the call, including for details of those reported as of concern.
The moving process: From Kabul, Afghans are sent to several locations overseas, where they provide biographical and biometric information and are verified against US databases.
Once these topics are determined to be “green,” meaning there is no derogatory information, they are placed on flights to the United States.
They undergo additional screening once they arrive in the United States. If they fail primary screening, they undergo secondary screening, which includes FBI support, U.S. Customs and Border Protection official James McCament said on the call.
“Now those who pass secondary screening will of course be drawn to the United States. Those who do not, however, we will evaluate this other option,” he added.
It is not known what would happen if someone did not pass the secondary screening after landing in the United States.
Local threat: The second major security threat is whether people already in the United States, who may be inspired by narratives associated with al-Qaeda, ISIS, or other foreign terrorist groups, “will see the events in question. Afghanistan as an opportunity to engage in violence here at home, ”Cohen said.
The ability to detect threats from local violent extremists presents a challenge for officials as there may not be direct intelligence before an act of violence occurs.
White supremacists: The third threat concerns individuals who are inspired or motivated by violence because of their connection to a domestic violent extremist narrative.
Some anti-government and white supremacist groups have expressed concern on online platforms that the arrival of Afghans will degrade white control and authority, Cohen said – which “could incite violent activities directed against them. immigrant communities, some religious communities or even those relocated to the United States.
Additionally, there are accounts describing the activities of the Taliban as a success with comments focusing on potential acts of violence directed against the US government, law enforcement and others who are symbols of the current government structure. .
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