Ex-House Intelligence chairman: Refugees can’t be fully vetted

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The U.S. and Europe are unable to effectively vet the millions of refugees streaming out of Syria, the former head of the House Intelligence Committee said on Sunday, after reports emerged that one of the men responsible for Friday’s attacks in France had disguised himself among the migrants.

The intelligence is simply too thin to dig deep into the backgrounds of each and every refugee, former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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“I’m not sure why this shocked everybody,” Rogers said. “There is not a vetting process … that can vet every single individual refugee coming in on the refugee program.”

Friday evening’s coordinated strikes in Paris are sure to spark a new debate over the Syrian refugees, 11 million of whom have been forced out of their homes. Masses of the migrants have overwhelmed borders in Europe and strained neighboring countries.

The U.S., meanwhile, has accepted roughly 2,000 refugees. Despite humanitarian pleas for the country to accept more, some critics have been worried that terrorists might slip in among their ranks.  

Last month, FBI Director James Comey told Senate lawmakers that “gaps” remained in the U.S.'s ability to screen the refugees, because of a lack of intelligence on the ground in Syria. 

“There is risk associated of bringing anybody in from the outside, but specifically from a conflict zone like that,” Comey said.