Syria has become 'matter of homeland security,' DHS Secretary Johnson says

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Friday that Syria has become an issue of homeland security for the United States.

The new head of the Department of Homeland Security returned Thursday night after a two-day trip to Poland with Attorney General Eric Holder.

Johnson said he and Holder met with six of Johnson’s counterparts from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. 

“Syria was the number one topic of conversation for them and for us. Syria has become a matter of Homeland Security,” Johnson said Friday at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., where he laid out his agenda.

Johnson was in Poland to attend the European Union’s G6 Interior Ministers meeting to discuss concerns over foreign fighter travel to and from Syria.

“During the meetings, Secretary Johnson discussed the inextricable link between the United States’ security and that of our international partners, underscoring the need to continue to work closely together to strengthen the security of the global trade and travel networks upon which all our nations’ economies and citizens rely,” the DHS said in a release on Thursday.

On Friday, Johnson said the DHS, the FBI and the American intelligence community will continue to work closely to identify al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria.