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October 18, 2019

Thompson & Rogers Request Intelligence Assessment on Homeland Threat from Escaped ISIS Fighters in Syria

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Committee, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis Under Secretary David Glawe to request an intelligence assessment on the threat to the homeland posed by Islamic State (ISIS) foreign fighters released or escaped in the aftermath of the withdrawal of U.S. troops and Turkey’s military actions in northeastern Syria.

Letter excerpt:

Currently, there are between 10,000 and 12,000 ISIS fighters and family members detained in SDF-run camps, of which over a thousand are believed to be from European countries.  In recent days, Kurdish officials have confirmed that at least 800 of those detained have been released or escaped after SDF resources were reallocated to stave off the incursion of Turkish forces to the north.  Of particular concern are media reports suggesting U.S. forces have been “unable to relocate 50 [High Value Individuals], the most dangerous of the terrorists.”

Given the ability of foreign fighters and others escaped or released to transit through Turkey, we are concerned about the threat they may pose to the U.S. Accordingly, we request DHS issue an intelligence assessment analyzing the recent events in Syria and their possible security impact on the homeland.

Link to Letter

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Press Contact

(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Rogers) Nicole Hager at 202-226-8417