Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper is telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. is facing the most diverse global threat environment he has seen in more than 50 years of government service. The threat posed by the Islamic State group is still rising, but U.S.-based homegrown extremists pose the biggest danger to the homeland, he added. Separately, responding to questions from lawmakers, Clapper warned that the group had planted fighters among the thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing to neighboring countries and Europe.
One technique they’ve used is taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow. … They … are pretty skilled at … phony passports so they can travel ostensibly as legitimate travelers as well.
Meanwhile, the U.N. demanded that Turkey open its doors to the tens of thousands of Syrians who have massed at the border amid blistering airstrikes and sieges as Russian and Syrian government forces surge to recapture the city of Aleppo. The offensive, one of the biggest shifts in momentum of the five-year civil war, has brought government forces closer than they have been in years to a border crossing with Turkey that has served as the main supply route into rebel-held territory. The advance helped derail the first peace talks in two years, which collapsed last week, but international powers are expected to meet later this week to revive diplomacy, with Washington seeking a truce.