Carson on U.S. Taking in Syrian Refugees: ‘Splendid Opportunity for the Global Jihadists’

By Penny Starr | September 14, 2015 | 2:44pm EDT
Retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson (AP Photo)

( – In an interview with National Public Radio on Saturday, retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson said that letting Syrian refugees into the United States without a thorough screening process could lead to terrorists getting into the country.

NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon asked Carson: “Question of the week – how many Syrian refugees would you admit to the United States if you were president?”

“Well, we have to recognize that this is a splendid opportunity for the global Jihadists to infiltrate those numbers with members of their own organization,” Carson said. “So we have to have in place a very excellent screening mechanism.

“Until we have such a mechanism in place, we should not be bringing anybody in,” Carson said.

According to the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, the United States resettled 132 Syrians in cities around the United States in fiscal year 2014, with the largest number – 32 – resettled in California.

At a U.S. State Department telephone briefing with reporters on Sept. 11, a State Department official explained the process of screening potential refugees, which includes a health screening and security checks.

“Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States,” the official said. “The screening includes involvement of the National Counterterrorism Center, NCTC; the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center; DHS; the Department of Defense; and other agencies.

“Most of the details of the security checks are classified,” the official said.

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