Multiple Syrian Men Detained With Fake Greek Passports On St. Maarten And Honduras, Believed To Be Heading To U.S.

Tara West

Three Syrian men were detained in St. Maarten after it was discovered they were traveling on fake Greek passports. Meanwhile, five Syrian men were also detained with fake Greek passports in Honduras as officials believe they headed to the United States. The men were reportedly only carrying hand luggage in a bid to avoid checks during their journey from Europe. The three Syrian men stopped in St. Maarten had already made stops in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti with their fake passports before finally being arrested on St. Maarten in the Caribbean. The five Syrian men in Honduras had traveled from Europe to Brazil, Argentina, and Costa Rica before finally being arrested in Honduras. The recent arrests and fear surrounding the Islamic State posing as refugees has many questioning if terrorists could use a similar method to make their way into the United States.

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Cases such as these are sparking fears that jihadi extremists could enter the United States through Mexico using similar fake passports and a similar flight plan. The men were allegedly attempting to get to San Pedro Sula so that they could walk over the border into Guatemala and eventually make a trek over land through Mexico and into the United States.

According to the New York Times, three small groups of people, from Syria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have attempted to enter the United States through Mexico which is contributing to the fear that terrorists could use the method to enter the country. However, immigration officials say that it does not appear that any of the people in the groups were associated with terrorist organizations. Instead, they were noted as people simply trying to flee the embattled region for a better life. In fact, one group allegedly turned themselves in voluntarily at the border and did not even attempt to "sneak" across the border.

Those who have been detained at the border are reportedly screened and then sent to detention centers where they wait to see if they qualify for asylum.

"As a standard procedure, agents processed the six individuals and checked their identities against numerous law enforcement and national security related databases. Records checks revealed no derogatory information about the individuals."

[Image by AP Photo/Matt Rourke]