And with more than 430,000 migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year -- many fleeing war zones in Syria and Afghanistan -- right-wing politicians have seized upon this threat.
"At this stage we have no indication that jihadists are mixing with refugees," a high-ranking French intelligence official said on condition of anonymity.
The official said "it is true that jihadists increasingly use land routes to avoid being tracked", but on the other hand they had "the financial means" to enter Europe by other means than joining the risky migrant route.
Many of those who have carried out attacks on European soil in the name of the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda, have EU passports, such as Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche who attacked the Jewish museum in Brussels in May 2014.
"All the major Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq are currently focused on fighting there and have limited themselves, at least in public, to calling on their supporters who can't travel to Iraq and Syria (and are) already based in the EU, to launch attacks in their names in their countries rather than sending people back," said Henman of IHS Jane's.
The three Islamist gunmen who carried out attacks in Paris in January that left 17 people dead -- most of them at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo -- had declared allegiance to the Islamic State.
Alain Chouet, a former chief of France's DGSE intelligence agency, said the threat of jihadists disguising themselves as refugees "does not hold water. It is ridiculous".
"It makes no sense, in operational terms, for a network to take such risks," he told AFP.
"If the Islamic State was losing ground and wanted to launch an international terror offensive, it would not send its foot soldiers among the refugees: it would take them a month to arrive, with a 50-percent chance of drowning."
Refugees are subject to Department of Homeland Security background checks before arriving in the U.S.
The State Department runs the names of all refugees referred to the United States for resettlement through a standard CLASS (Consular Lookout and Support System) name check. In addition, enhanced interagency security checks were phased in beginning in 2008 and applied to all refugee applicants by 2010.
Certain refugees undergo an additional security review called a Se-
curity Advisory Opinion (SAO). These cases require a positive SAO clearance from a number of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies in order to continue the resettlement process. When required, this step runs concurrently with Step 4
Refugees who meet the minimum age requirement have their finger-
prints and photograph taken by a trained U.S. government employee, usually on the same day as their DHS interview. The fingerprints are then checked against various U.S. government databases and information on any matches is reviewed by DHS.
All refugee applicants are interviewed by an officer from DHS’s U.S. Citizen-
ship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A trained officer will travel to the country of asylum* to conduct a detailed, face-to- face interview with each refugee applicant being considered for resettle- ment. Based on the information in the refugee’s case file and on the interview, the DHS officer will determine if the individual qualifies as a refugee and is admissible under U.S. law.
If the USCIS officer finds that the individual qualifies as a refugee and meets other U.S. admission criteria, the officer will conditionally approve the refugee’s application for resettlement and submit it to the U.S. Department of State for final processing. Conditional approvals become final once the results of all security checks (Steps 4, 5, and 6) have been received and cleared.
Refugees are processed in conjunction with nine nonprofits, not solely by the government.
Refugees are sent all over the U.S.
Refugees must pay back the cost of their flight to the U.S.
Refugees don't get long-term subsidized housing.
Refugees have to apply for jobs.Christian resettlement organizations help refugees of all faiths.
Five of the nine resettlement agencies are Christian and one is Jewish, but all serve refugees of all nationalities and faiths.The government doesn't track refugees after they arrive.
Once arriving in the U.S., refugees are allowed to move anywhere in the country, just like any other legal resident. If a refugee does choose to relocate, a local organization works to transfer the case to another resettlement agency in the new location, but that is not always possible.
Bottom line: no process will ever be 100% secure. None. If you want to wall us in and not allow people from El Salvador, or Mali, or Syria to come here for a better life, then Trump, your 9th favorite, should vault to number 1.
100% safety is an illusion. The solution is to work with our neighbors and have a coherent policy, and Obama has done a terrible job of both.