Ambassador Warns of 'Blind Spot' in Tracking Syrians in South America
Earlier this week, police in Honduras apprehended five Syrian men who they said were trying to make their way to the U.S. with stolen and doctored Greek passports.
Authorities have since said there is no evidence linking the men to terror groups or the attacks last week in Paris.
Meantime, two Syrian families turned themselves in this week after reaching the U.S. border town of Laredo, Texas.
On "Happening Now" this morning, Jenna Lee discussed the potential security vulnerabilities with Roger Noriega, a former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States.
He warned that, in his view, Venezuela is a troublesome "blind spot" for the United States in trying to track Syrians who enter South America.
Noriega explained that since 1998, the Venezuelan regime has "made common cause" with enemies of the United States, like Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.
"Venezuela has become a safe haven," said Noriega, highlighting that one of the country's diplomats helped Hezbollah operatives obtain passports.
Noriega said the reports about Syrians reaching Mexico and Central America are "troubling" because these cases highlight the "sophistication" of smuggling networks.
He said in most cases the migrants are innocent people looking for a better life, but "the problem is [that] terrorists use these same routes [and] networks."