Islamic State operatives with real Syrian passports printed by the group may have been able to infiltrate the U.S. or Europe, American authorities warned.
ISIS captured a passport office in Deir ez-Zour and another in Raqqa last summer, and is believed to have seized a passport making machine and thousands of ready-to-print blank passports.
“Since more than 17 months [have] passed since Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour fell to ISIS, it is possible that individuals from Syria with passports ‘issued’ in these ISIS controlled cities or who had passport blanks, may have traveled to the U.S,” read the Homeland Security Investigations Intelligence Report.
The report also noted “fake Syrian passports are so prevalent in Syria that Syrians do not even view possessing them as illegal,” and can be obtained for $200 to $400.
“The intelligence community is concerned that they [ISIS] have the ability, the capability to manufacture fraudulent passports, which is a concern in any setting," FBI Director James Comey said on Wednesday.
European security officials are concerned about Islamic State operatives entering with Syrian passports. A watch list of missing Syrian and Iraqi passports is circulating between European countries by diplomats and intelligence officers.
The list contains the serial numbers of blank passports which were in the passport offices captured by the Islamic State, according to an unnamed European diplomat and reported by Reuters.
He said there were 5,000 missing Syrian passports from Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour and 10,000 Iraqi passports.
The list has been updated several times since it was first circulated in the summer.
One of the bombers in the Paris attacks which killed 130 people was identified as Ahmad al-Mohammad who entered Europe through Greece travelling on what is believed to be a fake Syria passport.