According to AFP, several hundred US citizens may have had contact with IS jihadists in Syria, the chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee said Sunday (August 31).
"It's in the hundreds that have at least one-time traveled, participated and trained with IS" Rogers said. Republican lawmaker Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent, told Fox News Sunday that he was concerned about efforts to keep track of Americans who had links to the group.
"Some have drifted back, some have gone to Europe." It is virtually impossible to know where they are?
The US State Department has previously estimated that more than 100 US citizens had traveled to Syria to join extremist groups such as IS.
"I'm very concerned because we don't know every single person who has an American passport that has gone and trained and learned how to fight," Rogers said.
He also raised concerns about the estimated 500 British citizens and "several hundred" Canadians believed to have traveled to Syria, noting that passport holders from those countries could easily enter the United States without a visa.
COMMENT: Separately Sunday, another US lawmaker said a strategy to fight militants in Syria could become clearer next week or...perhaps render the challenge even more complex.
Unfortunately, unless you can examine a passport holder's travel document, it is virtually impossible to assess where they've been and what risk they actually pose.
Potentially, there are 28 EU nations, Canada and the US who potentially can travel without restrictions. Reverse engineering who may be a formidable threat is indeed daunting.